Hudson Valley Credit Union Review: Free Accounts with Low to No Minimums

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GOBanking Rates Score

Quick take: Hudson Valley Credit Union ranks in the GOBankingRates Top 100 Banks (No. 24) and Best Credit Unions (No. 11) lists for the wide range of flexible banking products available to members. Plus, there are no monthly fees and very few requirements to open and maintain your accounts.
  • Rates
  • Costs
  • Some products
  • Banking experience

How did we calculate this?

About the Hudson Valley Credit Union

Originally founded in 1963 as IBM Poughkeepsie Employees Federal Credit Union, the Hudson Valley Credit Union has been around for over 50 years. Today, HVCU is a community-based financial institution serving several New York counties.

The credit union prides itself on its convenient services and affordable financial products to facilitate every stage of its customers’ financial lives. HVCU is a top credit union in the GOBankingRates study for its local vibe, free/low-cost accounts, and focus on serving New York residents.

HVCU current account

When you open a checking account with HVCU, you receive a free Visa debit card and access to over 85,000 ATMs. Purchases made using the debit card can earn you points for the HCVU Rewards Program, which can be redeemed for cash, gift cards, travel, merchandise and more. There is no minimum balance required and HVCU does not charge any monthly fees. You’ll even receive two free boxes of personalized checks each year for one of the cheapest checking accounts you’ll find.

HVCU Savings Account

Once you open a free savings account, a daily balance of $0.01 is enough to maintain your HVCU membership. No minimum deposit is required to open the account and you will earn an APY of 0.02%. It’s not the highest-paying savings account, but if you link a Hudson Valley Credit Union checking account, automatic transfers can protect you from overdrafts. Plus, you’ll receive up to 15 free ATM transactions abroad as added value.

HVCU Money Market Account

Money market accounts allow you to combine bill payments and withdrawals with a savings vehicle. You can open an HVCU Money Market Account for just $1,000 at no cost, and when you’re ready to save more, access HVCU’s Tiered Money Market Accounts. Accounts come with APYs ranging from 0.06% to 0.15%, depending on the account balance.

Keep in mind that money market accounts offer some flexibility, but are not a complete replacement for a checking account. You will be limited to six withdrawal transactions per month before being hit with a $10 penalty per excess withdrawal.

HVCU CD Accounts

HVCU offers CDs with low minimum deposits and flexible terms ranging from three to 60 months. Plus, you can sign up to receive an SMS or email alert when your CD is about to expire so you can decide whether to renew, invest more, or choose a different term.

You can open a CD through the online banking portal. There is a relatively low minimum deposit requirement of $500. The current APY varies between 0.10% and 0.60%. Although longer-term rates may seem tempting, make sure you can afford to invest your funds for the full term. You will not be able to access this money in an emergency as the funds are locked for the duration of the CD. You could face a penalty of 30 to 360 days of earned dividends if you withdraw early.

Hudson Valley Credit Union Features

Some of the features that make HVCU a standout credit union include its competitive rates and fees as well as banking conveniences. Interest rates are better than the average physical bank. More importantly, many of the fees that can erode any gain are low or non-existent. Checks are free (two boxes per year) and accounts have no monthly account maintenance fees.

You’ll find the overall banking experience to be positive and convenient, with many financial services available including bank accounts, loans, credit cards and more. Plus, you can manage most of your banking needs yourself through the online portal or mobile app, by calling the customer service phone number, or by visiting a local branch.

Editor’s Favorite

HVCU’s Flex Rate CD has a 12-month term and a three-month T-Bill earning potential. HVCU adds an additional 0.25% APY to the rate, meaning you can earn 0.29% right now with a minimum investment of $750.

HVCU Banking Experience

If you are looking for a combination of online and in-person banking, HVCU is a good option. Here’s more information on what you can expect from banking with HVCU.

Customer service

HVCU’s customer service team is available 8am-7pm ET weekdays and Saturday 9am-5pm ET. Additionally, live chat and secure email are available.

Branch Accessibility/Availability

The credit union has 20 branches in 19 different cities in New York. Customers can also access more than 85,000 free ATMs.

Mobile and digital experience

The HVCU mobile app is a convenient way to deposit checks and transfer money. Plus, you can sign up for free account monitoring and notifications to alert you to events like account balance changes and ATM withdrawals.

The HVCU app gets high ratings from users with a rating of 4.8 on the App store and a similar note on the Google Play Store.

How to Open an HVCU Account

You can open an account with HVCU online or at one of the branches. If you choose to open an account online, you will need to open a primary savings account first before opening any other account offerings from HVCU.

You will also need to provide one of the following IDs:

  • State driver’s license
  • State Non-Driver ID
  • Passport
  • Military ID Card
  • Permanent Resident Card (I-551)
  • Employee Authorization Card (I-766)

Once you are approved as a member, you will need to complete a signature verification card which the credit union will keep on file.

Costs

Although HVCU is known as a low cost credit union, there are some fees to watch out for.

Type Quantity
Monthly maintenance fees Nothing
Overdraft fees $34 debit card, $5 savings
Bank transfer fees Outgoing: $25 domestic, $40 internationalIncoming: $10
NSF fees $34

Hudson Valley Credit Union vs Competitors

Wondering how Hudson Valley Credit Union compares to other credit unions? Here is an overview.

Bank Best for
Hudson Valley Credit Union Variety of bank accounts with little or no fees
Federal Naval Credit Union Benefits of Credit Unions Designed for Military Personnel
ESL Credit Union Banking Services for Rochester Area Residents

Hudson Valley Credit Union vs. Navy Federal Credit Union

Each credit union focuses on a particular customer. Membership in Hudson Valley is restricted to area residents and employees. The Navy Federal Credit Union accepts military personnel and/or family members. However, both credit unions are military-friendly. HVCU also offers a variety of loans and financial aid to active duty military members.

Hudson Valley Credit Union vs. ESL Credit Union

Both credit unions provide financial services to residents and employees of select New York counties. Individuals in the Rochester area may qualify to bank online with ESL. However, many ESL services are for educators only. By comparison, all of HVCU’s services are available to Hudson Valley residents and employees who qualify for membership, regardless of vocation.

Final take

Hudson Valley Credit Union is a great option for anyone looking for a more personalized banking service. The credit union has been around for over 50 years and is focused on serving New York residents.

You can access any of 20 HVCU branches and access over 85,000 ATMs located nationwide. Becoming a HVCU member is relatively easy and there are few requirements to open and maintain your accounts. And best of all, there are no monthly maintenance fees.

Jamie Johnson contributed reporting for this article.

Rates are subject to change. Account information is accurate as of January 18, 2022.

Editorial Note: This content is not provided by Hudson Valley Credit Union. Any opinions, analyses, criticisms or recommendations expressed in this article are those of the author alone and have not been reviewed, endorsed or otherwise endorsed by Hudson Valley Credit Union.

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About the Author

Cynthia Paez Bowman is a personal finance writer with a degree in international business and journalism from American University. In addition to writing about personal finance, she writes about real estate, interior design, and architecture. His work has been featured in MSN, Brex, Freshome, MyMove, Emirates Open Skies magazine and more.

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