Vystar Credit Union Review 2024

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Vystart Credit Union


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Expert Take

VyStar Credit Union could be a good choice for eligible Georgians and Floridians who want a low-cost, local banking experience. VyStar blends digital banking with the convenience of brick-and-mortar locations.


  • High-interest rates on CDs
  • Interest-bearing checking accounts
  • Free checking and savings accounts
  • Free withdrawals at over 20,000 ATMs
  • Low minimum opening deposits across all accounts


  • Limited branch availability
  • Limited membership availability
  • Interest compounded monthly, not daily on some accounts
  • Yields are low relative to what you can earn at other institutions

Bonus Offers


Product Variety


Customer Experience


Interest-Bearing Accounts




Free ATM Access


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at Vystart Credit Union

VyStar Credit Union provides no-fee and low-fee banking services to military personnel, their family members, and eligible consumers who live or work in Florida and parts of Southeast Georgia.

With over 900,000 members, VyStar is one of the 20 largest credit unions in the nation. and the largest mortgage lender in Northeastern Florida.

Members benefit from branch locations throughout Florida and Georgia, a wide network of free ATMs, mobile banking, Zelle integrations, account alerts, and other user-friendly perks.

What Is Vystar Credit Union?

Founded in 1952 as the JAX Navy Federal Credit Union, VyStar was created to serve the banking needs of military members and their families working at the Naval Air Station in Jacksonville.

Vystar has evolved and grown over the years, becoming VyStar Credit Union in 2002.

Today, VyStar is Florida’s second-largest credit union and the third-largest across the United States with over 2,200 employees.

VyStar has nearly 1 million members nationwide, but active military members anywhere in the globe are eligible to join.

Vystar Credit Union Checking Accounts

VyStar offers totally free new checking accounts that are straightforward and consumer-friendly.

Accounts come with back-up overdraft protection when you link a savings account, money market account (MMA), or other line of credit to provide overdraft coverage.

1. VyStar Free Checking Account

A basic no-frills checking account, it comes with Magic*Touch phone banking, 24/7 online and mobile banking, free bill pay, free pay-in-app with digital wallets, and a customizable VyStar Visa debit card.

There is no minimum daily balance requirement and free eStatements. Paper statements are available for a fee.

Account holders earn interest on their daily balance and can receive their paycheck up to two (2) days early with direct deposit.

Additionally, your Free Checking account bears interest. Rates are calculated daily and compounded and credited monthly.

2. Senior Checking

Designed for account holders aged 50 or older, Senior Checking offers the same digital and online banking perks as VyStar’s base free checking account but it comes with a couple more free bells and whistles.

Senior Checking account holders get free custom checks or a $10 credit toward personalized checks and free resources to plan and save for retirement.

3. Youth Checking

VyStar’s Youth Checking is designed to help kids and teens make the most of their money and learn how to manage saving, spending, and budgeting. It comes with access to VyStar’s online and mobile banking platforms, a debit card or ATM card, optional direct deposit set-up, and educational savings resources.

The Youth Checking also bears interest, with the entire balance earning an APY of 0.10%.

VyStar Credit Union Savings Accounts

VyStar offers three basic savings account options to help consumers save money for a rainy day or short-term savings goal.

1. Standard Savings Account

Open a free, basic savings account with no monthly maintenance fees. An initial deposit of $5 is required, but there are no minimum balance requirements.

Account holders earn “competitive dividends” on balances of at least $50, and you can use this savings account as a linked account for checking account overdraft protection.

2. Kids Club Savings Account

Designed for children under age 12, kids can make deposits in person or through recurring monthly contributions. There are no monthly fees or minimum balance requirements and the balance earns interest.

Kids will also get free access to coin-counting machines, a service that most financial institutions charge at least a 5% coin-counting fee.

3. Holiday Savings Account

Sometimes referred to as a Christmas Club account, the Vystar Holiday Savings Account is an easy way for consumers to stash away cash for the December holidays.

The account has no minimum balance requirements, no maintenance fees, and there are no withdrawal fees. Contributions are set up weekly, monthly, or at other regular cadences, and account holders earn interest on the daily balance.

Holiday Savings funds are available on October 15. On this date, funds are automatically transferred from this savings account to your linked, primary checking.

VyStar Credit Union CD Accounts

Consumers can earn a guaranteed rate of return for saving at least $500 in a VyStar certificate of deposit (CD) account.

Flexible terms range from three (3) months to five (5) years, and consumers can choose an 18-month Step-Up Certificate for added rate flexibility.

Dividend earnings are compounded monthly and paid monthly, and CD owners may withdraw dividends at any time, with no penalty. The ability to make early withdrawals without penalty is fairly uncommon among financial institutions.

APY rates range from 1.29% to 3.60% based on CD length of terms and the deposit amount.

There is also a youth, 12-month CD option for deposits of $100 to $2,000.

VyStar Credit Union MMA Account

VyStar offers a money market account (MMA) that offers the higher interest rates of a savings account or a CD, and the convenience of a spending account.

There is no minimum opening balance required, no monthly maintenance fees and the MMA offers 24/7 access to funds with no penalties for withdrawals or transfers, a debit or ATM card, and tiered interest rates.

Additionally, VyStar’s MMAs come with paper checks.

Balances up to $9,999 earn a 0.75% APY. Balances from $10,000 to $99,000 earn a 0.90% APY and the top-tier APY of 1.05% is paid for balances of at least $100,000.

Interest earned is compounded daily and paid daily.

Additional Products

In addition to their savings, checking, CD, and MMA accounts, VyStar Credit Union offers a range of other banking and investment services that can meet the daily financial needs of most consumers.

  • Credit cards
  • Overdraft protection
  • Mortgages and home equity loans
  • Recreation vehicle and auto loans
  • Personal loans
  • Hardship & Loan Modification Assistance
  • Free financial counseling
  • Debt consolidation
  • Refinancing
  • Health savings accounts (HSAs)
  • Education savings accounts
  • Individual retirement accounts (IRAs)
  • Estate planning
  • Comprehensive financial planning services
  • Auto and vehicle insurance
  • Homeowner and renter’s insurance
  • Dental Insurance
  • Life insurance
  • Umbrella Insurance


  • Military focus: Products and services are thoughtfully designed to meet the needs of military personnel, which includes sponsoring military-focused events, connecting members to military discounts, and the Military Heroes Mortgage Program.
  • Digital banking app: Mobile banking for added convenience, although it does have mixed reviews. The app has a 3.2-star rating in Google Play and a 4.8-star rating in iTunes.
  • Convenient in-store branches: VyStar has a number of branches located in popular retail stores, including Target, Walgreens, Speedway, and CVS Pharmacy.
  • Financial guidance: VyStar offers a number of resources to promote financial literacy and strengthen credit scores, including credit counseling, resource articles and podcasts, hardship deferment for credit card and loan products, and no-fee and low-fee banking products.
  • Flexibility: VyStar gives consumers great flexibility with money management, including no penalties for early CD or savings withdrawals, no minimum balance requirements, and free ways to receive and transfer money to family.

Pricing and Fees

As with other banks and financial institutions, VyStar charges bank fees for various consumer services.

Here’s a rundown of some of the most noteworthy charges you’ll find in VyStar’s fee schedule.

  • Non-Sufficient Funds (NSF) Fee: There is a $32 for an account NSF, a debit card, or other transaction that brings your account balance into the negative.
  • Courtesy Pay Fee: Charged in addition to any NSF fee, VyStar charges a courtesy pay fee of $29 for any overdraft charges that it pays. If your account balance is $10 and a $30 debit card transaction goes through, you would be charged a $32 NSF fee for your account going into the negative and then an additional $29 if VyStar pays the $30 charge to the merchant. For transactions of $5 or less, the $29 fee is not imposed. The $29 is only charged for courtesy pays of $5.01 or more.
  • Returned Check Fee: There is an $8 or $32 fee for returned checks. An $ 8 fee is charged for a returned two-party check, or $32 for a check payable and drawn on the same person. There are additional, separate charges for foreign check collection or more than six (6) returned checks in 12 months.
  • Legal Processing Fee: A $75 fee is charged if VyStar must put in place a legal processing order such as a bank levy or garnishment of wages. This excludes any Child Support Account Freeze.
  • Card Replacement Fee: VyStar charges a $5 fee to replace a lost credit card or credit card. Rush delivery is available for additional $25.
  • Wire Transfer Fee: There is a $15 fee to make an outgoing wire transfer.

Getting Started

You can open an account at any branch location, or VyStar Credit Union offers easy, online membership enrollment.

To get started, you will need proof of your U.S. citizenship or legal residency, your Social Security number (SSN), a Military ID, or other government-issued ID (for some consumers, a Military ID may be required), and $5 for your initial account deposit.

Banking login credentials are also required for the external account that you are using to fund your VyStar account.


While many credit unions do not offer bonuses or promotions, VyStar Credit Union generally has at least one special consumer deal going.

Here are some of the promotions listed on the VyStar Promotions page at the time of this article’s publication.

  • $25 referral bonus for referring a friend if they open a free checking account. Earn up to $250 for a maximum of 10 referrals per year. Your friend also gets $25 in their account.
  • $25 new member bonus: Get $25 credited to your account within one (1) business day of opening a free VyStar Checking account or Youth Checking Account.
  • $150 free for signing up for direct deposit and completing at least 15 debit transactions.
  • Up to $1,200 bonus for setting up a qualified advisory investment account.
  • 0.25% rate discount on closing costs for home loans, which translates into saving members an average of $5,038 in closing costs and fees.


VyStar Credit Union offers excellent security in stewarding your funds and your personal data.

VyStar account deposits are insured by the National Credit Union Share Insurance Fund (NCUSIF), which is an arm of the National Credit Union Administration (NCUA).

This insurance coverage operates similarly to the FDIC protection program, meaning deposits are backed by the U.S. government for up to the legal limit of $250,000 per account type per account holder.

In terms of data and web security, VyStar uses a variety of features. This includes computer virus protection, firewalls, secure transmissions using encryption technology and Secure Socket Layer (SSL), Multi-factor Authentication (MFA) for device log-in, and continual evaluation and deployment of new safety advances.

Customer Support

VyStar offers customers several ways to get in touch with a banker for customer support.

  • Phone: Call 1 (800) 445-6289 or 1 (904) 777-6000 to reach the customer rep at the Contact Center. The Contact Center is open every day from 7 a.m. to 7 p.m. EST, excluding bank holidays.
  • Online chat: VyChat is available seven (7) days a week from 7 a.m. to 7 p.m., excluding bank holidays. You can open a chat dialogue from the “Contact Us” page.
  • Email: Questions and feedback may be directed to feedback@org.
  • Appointment scheduler: Set up an appointment to discuss your account or other financial needs.
  • Mail: Send mail correspondence to VyStar Credit Union, P.O. Box 45085, Jacksonville, FL 32232-5085, or overnight mail to VyStar Corporate Headquarters: VyStar Tower, 76 S. Laura Street, Jacksonville, FL 32202.

Pros and Cons

As with any bank or credit union, there are pros and cons to weigh out when considering the best financial institution to meet your needs.


  • Free checking and savings accounts: All accounts have no account maintenance fees or minimum deposit requirements
  • Interest-bearing checking accounts: Free Checking and Youth Checking accounts earn an APY of 0.10%, with those funds credited monthly.
  • Low minimum opening deposits across all accounts: Most deposit accounts have no minimum opening balance requirement and only $5 is required to open a Regular Savings account.
  • High interest rates on CDs: VyStar’s CD rates offer rates higher than what many big-box banks pay, and it requires a minimum deposit of only $500.
  • Free withdrawals at over 20,000 ATMs at branch locations and throughout the United States.
  • Over 100 branches are available, located throughout Florida and Southeastern Georgia.


  • Limited branch availability; locations only in Georgia or Florida including locations in Target, Costco, Walgreens, CVS, and Speedway.
  • Interest compounded monthly, not daily on some accounts.
  • Limited membership availability; Only available to military service members and families, or Florida and Southeast Georgia
  • Yields are low relative to what you can earn at other institutions; the 0.10% in APY dividends on checkin accounts is not competitive.

Alternatives to VyStar Credit Union

Beyond VyStar Credit Union, here are three other options for consumers evaluating VyStar to also consider.

Suncoast Credit Union

Suncoast is another Florida-based credit union. It boasts exceptional customer service, fee-free interest-bearing checking accounts, and a rewards program that benefits local schools. It also has over 1,000 free ATMs.

Membership requirements are stringent though. To qualify, you must be a Florida resident residing in a county on or near the state’s Gulf of Mexico shoreline.

Fifth Third Bank

The editorial team at BankBonus rates Fifth Third Bank highly for customer service, giving it laurels for the best banking customer service in Florida. Fifth Third has a particularly outstanding app, many branches throughout the state, and a number of low-fee options for students and military personnel.

Frequently Asked Questions

Here are some of the most common FAQs that readers have when reviewing VyStar Credit Union.

Is VyStar Credit Union a Real Bank?

VyStar is a real, legitimate financial institution with over $13.5 billion in total assets. It has been in operation as a chartered credit union since 1952 and has a National Credit Union Administration (NCUA) charter number of 68490.

VyStar is not, however, a bank. While banks are generally for-profit institutions with a huge assortment of financial savings and loan products, credit unions like VyStar are not-for-profit institutions that distribute profits or dividends to their members and tend to focus on serving a specific group or affiliation.

Is My Money Safe at VyStar Credit Union?

Yes. Since its founding in the 1950s, VyStar has done an outstanding job investing and protecting customer’s money and personal banking information.

VyStar’s fraud department continually monitors accounts to protect assets and consumer data and thwart would-be scammers.

Is There a Downside to a Credit Union?

Yes, while credit unions tend to offer lower fees and better customer service there are downsides to credit unions too.

Common drawbacks include member eligibility requirements, fewer branches and ATMs, more limited customer service hours, and fewer products and services.

Is Vystar Credit Union Best for Your Needs?

VyStar Credit Union could be a good fit if you live in Florida or Southeast Georgia and are seeking a member-focused banking institution that specializes in meeting the needs of troops and their families.

VyStar offers a variety of products, from free checking and savings accounts to comprehensive financial planning services, credit counseling, low-fee overdraft protection, and live customer service seven (7) days a week.

Other banks or credit unions may offer high-yield savings accounts that can help you grow your funds more quickly. But if you match the member criteria and need a free and friendly way to manage your money, then VyStar is worth looking into.

Our Methodology

The BankBonus team has analyzed dozens of banks to provide our readers with thoroughly informed and accurate reviews.

We evaluate digital financial platforms, online banks, regional banks, and national banks across several metrics.

Our assessment of each bank factors in these considerations:

  • Product lineup: We review the types of accounts, loans, and services offered by each bank, as well as the number of accounts.
  • Fees and pricing: We also consider each institution’s fees, including monthly maintenance fees and other service charges.
  • Account features: To compare banks, we take a close look at the features, limits, and capabilities each one has to offer.
  • Interest: Along with these features, we consider whether or not the bank offers interest-bearing accounts and compare their rates to industry averages.
  • Brand reputation: The bank accounts we recommend have been carefully vetted to ensure they are legitimate, secure, and backed by FDIC insurance.
  • User experience: Additionally, we consider the ease of use and availability of resources on each bank’s website and factor in reviews of the mobile app from the Apple App Store and Google Play Store.
  • Branch and ATM access: To gauge convenience, we also look at each bank’s branch and ATM availability and consider their ATM reimbursement policies.
  • Customer service: In our review process, we also explore banks’ customer service channels, hours of availability, and third-party reviews.

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