Headquartered in Cheyenne, Blue Federal Credit Union has the most members of any credit union in Wyoming. It was founded and federally chartered in 1951 by employees of the F.E. Warren Air Force Base. Today, Blue Federal Credit Union has 19 branch locations across Colorado and Wyoming and is open to military members and civilians.
Blue Federal Credit Union is known for its many different savings accounts including multiple high-interest deposit accounts and CDs.
Learn more about each of these here to decide which one is right for you.
Rewards for Life
Before we get into the savings accounts, we want to talk about Rewards for Life since many accounts we’re going to cover qualify for reward points.
The Rewards for Life program awards points to members using three criteria: how long you’ve been a member of the credit union, how many different deposit accounts and Blue Federal products you have, and your combined balance across all accounts.
You get at least one point just for being a member and can earn up to three rewards points for a longer relationship with the credit union:
- 0-5 years: 1 point
- 5-15 years: 2 points
- 15+ years: 3 points
You may also qualify for points when you open certain accounts or purchase certain products. Accounts/products that qualify for one reward point each include:
- Any checking account
- Any credit card
- Any Investment at Blue account
- Any Money Market account
- Any Individual Retirement account
- Any Term Share certificate account
- Any first mortgage/bridge loan
- Any second mortgage/HELOC/Finish Line
- Any auto/RV/other secured loan
- Any unsecured loan/line of credit
Finally, you earn points for your combined balance across all of your accounts:
- Less than $5,000: 0 points
- $5,000 – 25,000: 1 point
- $25,000 – $75,000: 2 points
- $75,000+: 3 points
Your points total determines your Rewards Level. The higher your tier, the more perks you qualify for, with Sapphire being the most elite tier. Here are the Rewards tiers and the benefits at each:
|0-5 points||6-8 points||9+ points|
|Consumer loan rate discount||None||-0.25% APR||-0.50% APR|
|Extreme checking rate (up to $15,000)||1.00% APY||1.50% APY||2.0% APY|
|Paper statement fee||$2/each||Free||Free|
|IRA annual fee||$10||Free||Free|
|Official check fee||$3||$3||Free|
|Coin/coin machine fee||3%||Free||Free|
|Domestic outgoing wire fee||$25||$25||Free|
|Incoming wire fee||$5||$5||Free|
|Credit card rewards||1 point per $1||1.5 points per $1||2 points per $1|
If you’re not sure how many reward points you qualify for, you can use their Rewards for Life Calculator to get a better idea. You should automatically start receiving benefits as soon as you qualify for a higher tier.
Note that Investments at Blue balances and first mortgages/bridge loans do not count toward your combined balance. Also, the consumer loan rate discount applies to auto, ATV, motorcycle, and recreation vehicles.
The first savings account we’re going to cover is the Accelerated Savings account. This account offers an APY of 5% on up to $1,000. This is the best savings rate Blue Federal Credit Union pays. On balances over $1,000, your APY decreases as your balance increases.
Accelerated Savings Rates
|$0 – $1,000||5.0%|
|$1,000.01 – $5,000||1.80% – 5.0%|
|$5,000.01 – 10,000||1.15% – 1.80%|
|$10,000.01 – 50,000||0.43% – 1.15%|
|$50,000.01+||0.15% – 0.43%|
You will earn 5% APY on your first $1,000, then a lower rate on everything above that. The current national average rate on a savings account is 0.06%. Unlike some high-interest savings accounts, this account doesn’t reward you for saving more.
There is no minimum opening balance required for this account, but you must maintain an average daily balance of at least $25 to earn interest.
You can open only one Accelerated Savings account. Interest is compounded and credited monthly.
You can make up to six withdrawals per month per Federal Regulation D.
Accelerated Savings account balances count toward your combined balance and qualify for Rewards for Life points.
Sky High Savings
The Sky High savings account is another version of a “high-interest” savings account available at this credit union. It pays 0.35% interest on all balances and there is no minimum balance required to earn interest. Dividends are compounded and credited monthly to your account.
There is no minimum opening balance required for this account. While much better than the national average, the earnings rate for this account is not that competitive compared to many financial institutions (and we certainly wouldn’t consider it “sky high”).
Christmas Club Savings
The Christmas Club savings account is designed to help you save for holiday spending. It allocates a portion of your money for an end-of-year lump sum withdrawal and earns interest for as long as the money is locked. This account earns 1.25% interest on balances up to $5,000.
Christmas Club Savings Rates
|$25 – $5,000||1.25%|
You must maintain an average daily balance of at least $25 to earn interest.
This account is free to open but limited to one per customer. Interest is compounded daily and credited quarterly to your account. Your balance is paid out automatically in October. If you withdraw your funds before this, you will incur an early withdrawal penalty.
Besides these three accounts, there are two other more basic options: Membership Share savings and Supplemental savings.
Membership Share savings is exactly what it sounds like. Your deposit into this account doubles as your membership fee with the credit union, so you need to keep this account open if you want to remain a member.
This account earns an APY of 0.10% on all balances. The minimum average daily balance to earn interest is $25 for this account. Interest is compounded daily and credited quarterly into your account.
The Supplemental savings account is intended to be used for specific purposes. You can open this additional account to save for big purchases or create buckets for designated spending such as grocery or clothes shopping.
There is no minimum balance required to open a Supplemental savings account and you can open multiple. You need to maintain an average daily balance of at least $25 to earn interest. The interest rate for this account is also 0.10% for all balances. Interest is compounded daily and credited quarterly.
Both of these savings accounts also help you earn Rewards for Life points by counting toward your combined balance. They do not have fees.
Blue Federal offers both traditional and Ultra Money Market accounts. A traditional MMA requires an opening deposit of $1,000 and this is the average daily balance you must maintain to earn interest. Here are the rates for this account by balance tier.
Money Market Account Rates
|$1,000 – $14,999.99||0.10%|
|$15,000 – $24,999.99||0.15%|
|$25,000 – $74,999.99||0.20%|
|$75,000 – $99,999.99||0.25%|
The average rate for a money market account is sitting at about 0.06% right now. There are better rates out there and these are especially not ideal if you don’t have a lot of cash to deposit.
The ultra money market accounts pay higher dividends and require a much higher balance of at least $100,000 to open and earn interest.
Ultra Money Market Account Rates
|$2,500 – $99,999.99||0.10%|
You will earn the 0.35% APY on any balance over $100,000 and 0.10% on any balance less than this. You must maintain a balance of at least $2,500 to earn interest on this account.
Don’t choose this account unless you know for sure that you will be able to maintain a balance of at least $100,000 because otherwise, you will earn less than you would with the traditional MMA.
Interest is compounded and credited monthly back into your account unless you specify otherwise for both types of money market accounts.
You can make unlimited withdrawals and transfers from this account by visiting a branch, and you can make unlimited deposits at any time in person or online. There are no monthly service fees or fees for excessive withdrawals.
Term Share/Certificate of Deposit Accounts
The final deposit account we’re going to cover is the Term Share or Certificate of Deposit account. Choose from a decent selection of traditional and IRA CDs.
These accounts earn tiered APYs. Take a look at the interest rates for a traditional CD by term length and balance.
Regular CD Rates
|Term Length||$1,000 – $49,999.99 APY||$50,000 – $99,999.99||$100,000+|
|30 months (expandable)||0.50%||0.55%||0.60%|
Right now, the national average rate for a 12-month CD is sitting at 0.14%. These rates from Blue Federal are competitive and certainly some of the best we’ve seen offered by a credit union.
Blue Federal CDs require a minimum opening deposit of $1,000. Interest is compounded and paid monthly back into your CD.
The 30-month expandable CD allows you to deposit more money into your account after opening it, unlike other CDs. There are no fees for doing this.
Taking your money out before your certificate matures will cost you. Here are the fees you can expect for each term:
- Early withdrawals from CDs of less than one year incur a penalty equal to 90 days’ interest
- Early withdrawals from CDs of between one and three years incur a penalty equal to 180 days’ interest
- Early withdrawals from CDs greater than three years incur a penalty fee equal to 240 days’ interest
The grace period during which you can make a withdrawal after your account expires and renews without being penalized is 10 days.
There are both regular and IRA certificates of deposit available.
How to Join Blue Federal
You must become a member to open an account with this institution, but anyone can become a member by joining the Blue Foundation and making a deposit of $10. $5 will be used to open your first account and $5 will be donated on your behalf to the Blue Foundation, an organization that supports community service efforts. Once you join, you’re a member for life.
You can also join through a family member, eligible employer or organization in Wyoming or Colorado, or through the F.E. Warren Air Force Base or U.S. military (if you or a family member are in active-duty service).
You should have no problem finding a savings account to help you meet your goals at Blue Federal Credit Union. While these aren’t the best savings rates we’ve seen, they’re good, especially compared to other credit unions. And when you factor in the perks you can get from the Rewards for Life program, this credit union becomes a pretty attractive option for saving and low-risk investing. Overall, the accounts are pretty flexible, and they’re not bad for people with lower net worths.
You’ll probably want to steer clear of the Money Market accounts and instead choose a CD or Accelerated Savings account for the highest earning potential.