Security Service Federal Credit Union Review

Security Service Federal Credit Union

Overall Rating

9

Bottom Line

SSFCU is a comprehensive financial institution that comes with all of the products and services that you would expect in a traditional baking experience.

Pros

  • Plenty of account options
  • Decent MMA and Certificate rates
  • Tons of loan options
  • Elevated ID theft protection

Cons

  • Low savings rates
  • Limited membership
  • Lots of fees

Security Service Federal Credit Union, or SSFCU, is a federally chartered credit union based out of San Antonio, Texas.

SSFCU was founded in 1956 as a member-owned cooperative aiming to provide financial services to members of the US Air Force Security Service Command.

Today, it’s one of the largest credit unions in the country, with nearly $10 billion in assets and more than 777,000 members. SSFCU provides deposit accounts, credit cards, home and auto loans, and other financial products.

In this post, we’ll unpack everything you need to know about SSFCU as a banking option.

From checking and savings accounts to credit cards to security and customer service, you’ll get a crash course in how SSFCU can serve you.

In This Article

Security Service Federal Credit Union Checking Accounts

Here are the current checking account options available to SSFCU Members:

Power Checking

Power Checking is a straightforward checking account that comes with all of the basics — you’ll get online and mobile banking, bill pay, and a debit card that you can personalize with your own image.

The account has no monthly fee if you enroll in eStatements ($3 for paper statements) and has no minimum balance requirements.

Power Protected Checking

Power Protected is an interest-bearing checking account that comes with expanded identity theft protection and insurance.

There’s a $6 monthly fee, and for the added cost, you get 24/7 identity theft protection with dark web monitoring, plus up to $1,000 per year in mobile phone repair coverage.

The account also comes with credit monitoring and daily access to your credit report and credit score.

The dividend rate for the account is tiered, so you’ll earn a higher annual percentage yield (APY) the higher your account balance is.

The interesting thing here is that no matter your total balance, each portion of your funds will still earn the dividend rate of its tier.

This might feel a little confusing, so let’s take a look at the different balance tiers to paint a clearer picture.

Power Protected Checking Rates:

  • $0.00 to $9,999.99 balance: 0.05% Dividend Rate, 05% APY
  • $10,000 to $24,999.99 balance: 0.10% Dividend Rate, 05% to 0.08% APY
  • $25,000 to $49,999.99 balance: 0.20% Dividend Rate, 08% to 0.14% APY
  • $50,000 to $99,999.99 balance: 0.25% Dividend Rate, 14% to 0.20% APY
  • $100,000 to $249,999.99 balance: 0.40% Dividend Rate, 20% to 0.32% APY
  • $250,000+ balance: 0.65% Dividend Rate, 32% to 0.49% APY (based on a maximum $500,000 balance)

The key thing to focus on here is the APY. You’ll notice that each tier after the first one has a range.

This is because the part of your balance that falls in each tier still earns that tier’s rate, rather than your entire balance earning at the highest rate that you qualify for.

For example, if you have a balance of $15,000, $9,999.99 of your balance gets a dividend rate of 0.05%, while the remaining $5,000.01 earns the boosted rate of 0.10%.

This way, the higher you move within a dividend rate tier, the higher your APY gets.

Power Youth Checking

Power Youth Checking is a checking account designed for kids aged 13 to 17 and aims to provide money management tools to help young people establish good financial habits.

Otherwise, it’s exactly the same account as Power Checking — there’s no monthly fee (when you enroll in eStatements) or minimum balance requirement, and users get online banking and a customizable debit card.

Security Service Federal Credit Union Savings Accounts

Here are the current savings account options available to SSFCU Members:

Basic Savings

Basic Savings is a standard savings account that earns interest with a dividend rate of 0.05%.

There are no balance tiers for the rate, so your APY stays the same no matter how much you have in the account.

To open a Basic Savings account, you’ll need an initial deposit of $5 or more, and there’s a $100 minimum balance requirement (across all accounts) to avoid a fee.

Club Savings

Club Savings is similar in terms of features to Basic Savings but is designed as a vessel for your short-term savings goals.

Whether you’re saving for a vacation or Christmas shopping, Club Savings allows you to stash money away that you don’t want to touch.

Here’s how it works — you can open an account with as little as $5 and make as many subsequent deposits as you want. You won’t be able to withdraw the funds until November 1st when the funds (including any earned dividends) are transferred to your Basic Savings account.

Club Savings comes with the same 0.05% APY, and there are no fees unless you withdraw funds early. In this case, you’ll simply forfeit any earned dividends, and the account will close.

Youth Savings

Youth Savings is a savings account for kids, open to members under 18 years old, and is a jointly-held account between the child and a parent or guardian.

There are no monthly fees or minimum balance requirements, and the account comes with a 0.05% APY.

You can open a new account with as little as $5, and when the account holder turns 18, it automatically converts into a Basic Savings account.

SSFCU Money Market Account

SSFCU’s Money Market account provides a higher savings rate and more account flexibility.

There’s a $1,000 minimum deposit to open, and you’ll need to maintain at least that same balance to avoid a $10 monthly fee.

The APY is tiered, and you’ll need at least $50,000 in your account to earn above SSFCU’s standard 0.05%.

SSFCU MMA Rates:

  • $0.00 to $49,999.99 balance: 0.05% APY
  • $50,000 to $99,999.99 balance: 0.10% APY
  • $100,000 to $249,999.99 balance: 0.15% APY
  • $250,000+ balance: 0.25% APY

The money market account comes with check writing and ACH transfers, and you can make up to 6 transactions per month without penalty.

SSFCU Share Certificates (CDs)

If you have the flexibility to set money aside long term, SSFCU Certificates come with some of its most competitive rates. Let’s take a look at the options.

Note: Certificate rates may vary depending on where you live. All rates referenced below are accurate for San Antonio, Texas.

Traditional Certificate

To open a Traditional Certificate, you’ll need a deposit of at least $500, or $25,000 for the Jumbo rate.

Term lengths range from 3 months to 7 years, and the rates vary depending on the length of your term and the amount you deposit.

Rates range from 0.05% for a 3-month standard certificate to 1.00% for a 7-year term with $50,000 or more deposited.

For the full breakdown, head to the SSFCU website and enter your zip code.

Future Builder Certificate

Future Builder is a more flexible option that allows you to withdraw funds without penalty.

The only available term length is one year, and you can open an account with $250 or more.

Here’s a look at how much you’ll earn with each balance tier:

  • $250 to $24,999.99: 0.25% APY
  • $25,000 to $49,999.99: 0.30% APY
  • $50,000+: 0.35% APY

Security Service Federal Credit Union Loans

SSFCU provides personal, auto, and home loans, as well as credit cards and lines of credit.

It’s an Equal Housing Lender, and all credit card options are offered through Mastercard.

  • Personal Loans: SSFCU personal loans serve a variety of needs and credit situations and come with loan rates as low as 6.99%.
  • Auto Loans: SSFCU provides car loans for both new and used vehicles with rates starting at 2.69%. You can apply for pre-approval and won’t have to make your first payment for up to 60 days.
  • Home Loans: Whether you’re looking to buy a home or refinance, you’re covered with SSFCU. 15 and 30-year mortgages are available, plus options for lower rates through refinancing or quick cash through a home equity line of credit (HELOC).

Security Service Federal Credit Union Features

Here are the top banking features that come with being an SSFCU member.

66 Physical Branches

SSFCU has 66 brick-and-mortar branches in three states — Texas, Colorado, and Utah. More than half of the locations (36) are in Texas and are mostly consolidated in the San Antonio area.

In addition to its own branches, SSFCU is also part of a shared branch network of more than 5,000 credit unions nationwide.

These branches won’t offer the full scope of financial services that you’ll get at an SSFCU branch but provide basic transactions like withdrawals, transfers, and loan payments.

30,000+ Free ATMs

SSFCU is part of the CO-OP ATM network, so members have access to 30,000 free CO-OP ATMs throughout the country.

You can find these ATMs at other participating credit unions or common retailers like 7-Eleven, Costco, and Walgreens.

SSFCU also partners with the convenience store Stripes, which adds another 600 fee-free ATMs to its network. Stripes stores are located in Texas, Louisiana, New Mexico, and Oklahoma.

Online Banking

With online banking, you can take advantage of digital tools to stay on top of your SSFCU accounts.

Whether you’re applying for a new account or, managing your investment account, or just need to move some money around, you’ll have full access through the online portal.

Since SSFCU membership is available nationwide, you won’t have full branch access if you live outside its service area.

With that in mind, an effective online banking platform becomes essential.

Mobile App

With the SSFCU mobile banking app, you can bank anywhere with your smartphone. The app lets you make transfers, deposit checks, and freeze your debit card if you need to.

You can also set up travel notices, make recurring payments, or find a nearby ATM.

The app is available on both iOS and Android, and unfortunately, hasn’t overly impressed on either — it currently has a rating of 2.8 stars (out of 5) in the App Store and has only fared slightly better in the Google Play Store with a 3.2-star (out of 5) rating.

Fees

Unfortunately, there is a host of fees that prospective members need to be aware of with SSFCU. The good news is that they’re almost entirely avoidable.

Here’s a quick rundown of what fees to expect and how to avoid them.

Monthly Maintenance Fees

Two SSFCU deposit accounts (Power Protected Checking and Money Market) come with monthly account fees.

The fee is $6 for Power Protected Checking, and the only way around it is to keep an average daily balance of $50,000 or more.

With the Money Market account, the fee is $10 per month, and it’s waived if your average daily balance is $1,000 or higher.

Considering you need $1,000 or more to open the account, this is more manageable than the fee for Power Protected.

ATM Fees

If you have to use an out-of-network ATM, SSFCU charges a $1.50 fee on top of whatever the ATM charges.

SSFCU doesn’t offer reimbursements for ATM fees, so try to stay in-network as much as possible.

Overdraft Fees

Overdrafting your account comes with a $32.50 non-sufficient funds (NSF) fee.

You’ll have the option to link your savings to your checking for overdraft protection, which is free unless you have more than three overdraft transfers per month. In this case, there’s a $2 fee per transfer.

Wire Transfer Fees

Incoming wires are free, and outgoing domestic wires come with a low $15 fee. If you have to send an international wire, the price jumps up to a less-reasonable $61.

Paper Statement Fees

For all SSFCU accounts that don’t have a monthly fee, there’s a $3 paper statement fee, which can easily be avoided by enrolling in eStatements.

Getting Started

To join SSFCU, you’ll need to meet certain requirements. The credit union is available nationwide, but membership is only offered to those within certain organizations or communities.

How To Qualify to Join SSFCU:

  • Live, work, worship, attend school, volunteer, or run a business in Texas, Colorado, or Utah
  • Be a member of select military branches or a Department of Defense employee at specific military bases within the service area
  • Be a family or household member of an existing SSFCU member

If you qualify, you can apply for an account online at SSFCU.org, over the phone, or in-branch.

Promotions

At the moment, there are no sign-up bonuses or perks for new memberships or accounts with SSFCU.

Security

SSFCU takes your financial security seriously, particularly when it comes to identity theft. In fact, it built an entire account (Power Protected Checking) around the idea of enhanced protection against fraud.

The website is full of helpful anti-fraud suggestions and strategies, which help to identify suspicious account activity.

Like most credit unions, SSFCU is protected by the National Credit Union Administration (NCUA), so your money is protected up to $250,000.

Customer Service

When you need support, SSFCU’s call center is available Monday through Friday from 7 am to 10 pm Central Time.

The phone number is 1-888-415-7878, and phone calls are also accepted on Saturdays from 9 am to 6 pm and closed on Sundays.

You can also opt to send an email or reach out on the website with a secure message.

Overall, member service might not be a strength, with a rating of just 2.6 stars (out of 5) on TrustPilot.

Pros & Cons

Pros:

  • Plenty of account options
  • Decent money market and certificate rates
  • Tons of loan options
  • Elevated ID theft protection

Cons:

  • Low savings rates
  • Poorly-reviewed mobile app
  • Limited membership
  • Lots of fees

Alternatives to Security Service Federal Credit Union

If high-interest rates on savings accounts are what you’re after, you might want to look into some other options.

Check out other credit unions or online banks like:

FAQs

Is Security Service Federal Credit Union FDIC insured?

No, but it’s protected by the NCUA, which is the credit union version of the FDIC.

Does Security Service Federal Credit Union have Zelle?

At the moment, SSFCU is not compatible with Zelle.

Is Security Service Federal Credit Union Right For You?

SSFCU is a comprehensive financial institution that comes with all of the products and services that you would expect in a traditional baking experience.

If you live in Texas, Utah, or Colorado, SSFCU provides in-branch support and plenty of free ATMs. Otherwise, you’ll have to rely on online banking and shared branches.

Overall, it’s hard to ignore the low-interest rates, the bevy of fees, and questionable mobile banking tools — especially when there are so many accessible options that thrive in these categories.

SSFCU could be a good fit for those looking for a wide range of services who live in its service area and are associated with the military. For everyone else, it might not stack up to what else is out there.