Gesa Credit Union, based out of Richland, Washington, was originally founded in 1953 in a part-time office.
In 1996 they began opening their doors to residents through the state of Washington which is when they experienced major growth. Today, they have over 260,000 members and are the 2nd largest credit union in the state behind BECU (Boeing Employees Credit Union).
Gesa offers a number of NCUA-insured (FDIC equivalent for credit unions) deposit accounts which we’ll cover in this review. These are:
- 3 Checking Accounts – SmartChecking, SmartPlus Checking and Student Checking.
- 2 Savings Accounts – SmartPlus Savings and the Explore Youth Savings.
- 1 Money Market Account – Varying yields by balance amount.
- 10 CDs (Certificates of Deposit) – Terms ranging from 3 months to 7 years.
- 5 “Bump CDs” – Allow for one rate bump during the term. Terms from 12 months to 5 years.
Gesa Credit Union’s CDs are also available as IRA CDs. This applies to both their standard certificates and their Bump CDs.
To see if Gesa Credit Union’s deposit accounts are right for you, continue reading our review below.
In this post you'll learn:
As mentioned Gesa offers 3 checking accounts to choose from. All 3 of these accounts offer the following features:
- Debit card with over 30 designs to choose from.
- Access to over 70k surcharge free ATMs. See locations here.
- No monthly maintenance fees.
- Online and mobile banking.
- Early direct deposits. Get paid up to 2 days early.
- Round-up transactions to the nearest dollar and have the remainder automatically transferred to your Gesa Savings account to earn up to 5.00% APY (annual percentage yield).
- Overdraft protection. 3 options available. Call (888) 946-4372 for more information.
- Card Controls. Turn cards on/off and set up notifications for purchases over a certain amount, foreign transactions, etc.
The SmartChecking account is a great secondary checking account option – especially for those without a social security number or TIN number.
The account can be opened online with a minimum deposit of just $25 or in a local branch with no minimum deposit requirement.
The SmartPlus Checking account also comes with a minimum deposit requirement of just $25 or $0 if opened in a local branch. It also comes with some noteworthy features if you can meet certain criteria.
The features are an APY of 5.00% on balances up to $5,000 and unlimited domestic ATM fee refunds.
In order to be eligible for these features you must meet the following criteria:
- Enroll in eStatements
- Make a monthly direct deposit of over $200
- Complete 15 debit card transactions
You’ll also need to provide and maintain a valid email address. Limited to 1 account per member.
If criteria isn’t met then an APY of just 0.01% will be applied to your balance.
The Student Checking account is geared towards teens age 14 to 18. The account comes with a free debit card and only requires $5.00 to open.
It also earns an APY of 5.00%, but only on balances up to $500. Amounts above $500 will only earn 0.01% APY.
The good news is that there is no criteria to meet in order to earn the APY.
Like the checking accounts, both savings accounts offered by Gesa Credit Union are eligible for a Gesa Visa debit card and access to the network of over 70,000 ATMs. You’ll also have the same card control features and online banking features as you would with the checking account options.
The SmartPlus Savings account by Gesa earns 5.00% APY on the first $500 followed by 0.01% APY on balances above that amount.
You’ll have to provide a valid email and enroll in e-statements to earn the advertised APY otherwise the account balance will only earn 0.01% APY.
Interest is both compounded and credited to your account monthly. $5.00 from this account can also qualify for your Gesa membership. Typically this would have to reside in its own member share savings account to establish ownership in the credit union – since credit unions are member-owned financial institutions.
You’ll also need to open the account with a minimum deposit of at least $5.00
Explore Youth Savings
The Explore Youth Savings account by Gesa is available for kids up to 13 years old. The account also earns 5.00% APY on balances up to $500 with 0.05% APY on balances above that amount.
💰 BONUS! – Gesa will match deposits made into this account (either in branch or through mobile check deposit) up to $25. That’s a free $25 just for adding money to the account.
🎓 Super Student Incentive – Bring in your student’s report card and Gesa will deposit $5.00 into your child’s account. You are eligible for 4 of these per year (1 per season – Fall, Winter, Spring, Summer).
Money Market Account
Gesa Credit Union offers a money market account with varying yields based on your balance. It requires a minimum daily balance of at least $2,500 to earn the advertised rate.
Gesa also notes that new rates are set and posted each month.
Money Market Rates
|$2,500 – $9,999.99||0.10%|
|$10k – $24,999.99||0.15%|
|$25k – $49,999.99||0.20%|
|$50k – $99,999.99||0.22%|
|$100k – $249,999.99||0.27%|
To put these yields into perspective, the national average for a money market account sits at 0.39% APY, according to FDIC data, however, there are a handful of accounts paying over the 4.00% APY mark on all balances following the FED’s latest rate hike.
Interest is compounded daily and credited to your account monthly.
CD Rates + Account Details
Gesa Credit Union offers 10 standard CDs with terms ranging from 3 months to 5 years and 5 bump CDs with terms ranging from 1 – 5 years. These CDs can be opened in IRAs as well and carry the same yield.
Yields are tiered by deposit size. The tiers are as follows:
- $500 – $49,999.99
- $50,000 – $99,999.99
- $100,000 +
All CDs with Gesa come with a minimum deposit requirement of $500.
To put these yields into perspective the current national average for 12 month and 60 month CDs sit at 1.07% and 1.09% APY, according to the FDIC, however there are a number of institutions paying over the 4.25% and 4.50% APY mark for the same respective terms.
Bump CD Rates
Want to take advantage of a rising interest rate environment?
Bump CDs like these offered by Gesa Credit Union allow for one rate bump during the life of the CD. So if rates rise during your CD’s term, you can opt for one rate bump to the new APY.
Grace Period and Early Withdrawal Fees
Gesa will notify you before your CD matures. Upon maturity you will have a 10 calendar-day grace period in which you may modify your CD or close it out entirely. If nothing is done during this grace period your CD will automatically renew with the same term and the going APY at that time.
If you need funds prior to your CD’s maturity you will face an early withdrawal fee. The fee structure with Gesa Credit Union is as follows:
|CD Term||Early Withdrawal Fee|
|less than 12 months||90 days interest on the amount withdrawn subject to penalty|
|12 mo – less than 36 mo||180 days interest on the amount withdrawn subject to penalty|
|36 mo – less than 48 mo||365 days interest on the amount withdrawn subject to penalty|
|48 months or more||540 days interest on the amount withdrawn subject to penalty|