First Tech Federal Credit Union Business Checking Review 2023
This article is part of a larger series on Business Banking.
If you’re looking for a full-service credit union that can meet your business checking needs, First Tech FCU is a great option. It has two different business checking accounts: the basic Simple Business Checking account and the interest-earning Business Dividend Checking account. Both provide a good number of perks, including a free rewards-earning debit card, free digital banking, and a customizable banking alerts system.
Other First Tech FCU products include business savings accounts with competitive rates, business certificates of deposit (CDs), and business insurance. The Palo Alto-based credit union has branch locations in California, Colorado, Georgia, Idaho, Oregon, Massachusetts, Texas, and Washington. It also offers in-person banking services through Co-op Shared Branch network locations.
What We Like
- Highly rated mobile app
- Business insurance products available
- Nationwide access to in-person banking through Co-op Shared Branch network
- High minimum balance requirements to waive monthly fee
- $100 opening deposit requirement
- Lacks lending products
- Higher-tier accounts earn interest
- Rewards-earning Business Debit Mastercard
- Free digital banking with e-deposits, e-statements, and bill payment
- Business certificates of deposit (CDs), business savings accounts, and business insurance products
How First Tech Federal Credit Union Stacks Up With Its Competitors
Annual Percentage Yield (APY)
Out-of-Network ATM Fee
Minimum Opening Deposit
*Third-party operator fees may apply.
When First Tech Federal Credit Union Is a Good Fit
- You want nationwide access to in-person banking services: Although First Tech FCU only has 41 branches, it provides access to in-person banking services through its participation in the Co-op Shared Branch Network. First Tech FCU Customers can conduct in-person banking services at any Co-op Shared Branch Location.
- You want to earn interest on checking deposits: First Tech FCU offers an interest-earning account called Business Dividend Checking, which earns interest at a rate of 0.05% on balances under $50,000 and 0.10% on balances of $50,000 and over. However, waiving Business Dividend Checking’s $15 monthly fee requires maintaining an average daily balance worth $5,000.
- You want to earn rewards on debit card purchases: Your First Tech FCU business checking account will come with a free Business Debit Mastercard, a rewards card that earns one point for every $2 spent. Points can be redeemed for travel, merchandise, events, and gift cards.
- Your business needs insurance products: In our roundup of the best credit unions for small businesses, we named First Tech FCU the best credit union for business insurance. It offers liability insurance, workers’ compensation policies, builder’s risk policies, and commercial vehicle policies.
When First Tech Federal Credit Union Is Not a Good Fit
- Your business needs lending products: First Tech FCU lacks business-specific lending products. A good alternative would be Self-Help Federal Credit Union, whose wide range of lending products caters specifically to small businesses.
- You want to bank without a monthly fee or minimum balance requirements: There are no fee-free First Tech FCU accounts. The Minnesota-based Affinity Plus Federal Credit Union offers similar services while having no monthly fees or minimum balance requirements.
- You want access to competitive interest rates: The highest APY First Tech FCU’s checking accounts offer is 0.10%. The online-only banking solution Bluevine earns interest at a rate of 2.00% on qualifying balances up to and including $250,000.
If your small business meets one or more of these scenarios, check out our guide to the best small business checking accounts for more recommendations.
First Tech Federal Credit Union Business Checking Overview
Simple Business Checking
Business Dividend Checking
Transaction Limit Before Fees
Required Opening Deposit
Required Balance Minimum
$1,000 to waive monthly fee
$5,000 to waive monthly fee
$6 if under minimum balance requirement
$15 if under minimum balance requirement
0.05% for balances up to $49,999.99;
0.10% for balances worth $50,000 and up
Wire Transfer Fees
$5 for incoming
$20 for outgoing domestic
$50 for outgoing international
Cash Deposit Fees
Free at Co-op and First Tech ATM-owned networks, $2 for third-party networks
Open an Account
Business Debit Mastercard
Accounting Software Integrations
Business Payment Integrations
Via appointment, secured message, phone, or mail
Other Products Available
Savings accounts, commercial real estate lending, business insurance
Open an Account
First Tech Federal Credit Union Business Checking Requirements
To open a business bank account, business owners must first become members at First Tech FCU. Those who meet the following criteria qualify for membership:
- Individuals who live or work in Lane County, Oregon
- Employees (and their family members) who work for the State of Oregon or for an innovative company in First Tech FCU’s partner list
- Members of the Computer History Museum or the Financial Fitness Association
- Family members or household members of existing First Tech members
Those who don’t meet the above criteria may contact First Tech at (855) 855-8805 or stop by a branch to gain more information.
First Tech Federal Credit Union Business Checking Features
First Tech FCU offers two business checking products: Simple Business Checking, which doesn’t earn interest, and Business Dividend Checking, which earns interest depending on the account’s balance. Both accounts come with a free rewards-earning debit card, free digital banking, and banking alerts.
Members who choose the higher tier (Business Dividend Checking) earn interest on their accounts at a rate of 0.05%. If the account balance exceeds $50,000, the interest rate rises to 0.10%. Although there’s no minimum balance requirement to earn interest, there’s a minimum balance requirement ($5,000) to waive the $15 monthly fee. Note that opening a Business Dividend Checking account requires a minimum opening deposit of $100.
Rewards-earning Mastercard Debit Card
Both of the credit union’s business checking accounts come with a free Business Debit Mastercard, which earns one rewards point for every $2 spent. It also has a number of fraud-prevention tools, including chip-and-PIN technology, real-time fraud monitoring, and theft resolution services. It also has several benefits, like discounts on useful business software, such as Microsoft 365, Salesforce, Intuit QuickBooks Online, and Intuit TurboTax Discount. Users can redeem points for travel, merchandise, events, and gift cards.
Thanks to First Tech FCU’s extensive digital banking features, users can conduct a good majority of their banking transactions online. Through the First Tech FCU website and mobile app, users can view balances, pay bills, deposit checks fee-free, and view e-statements. Making an e-deposit under First Tech FCU digital banking only requires scanning or taking a photo of a physical check.
First Tech FCU’s mobile app, available for iOS and Android, has received a lot of praise from users. Satisfied customers commented on the app’s clean user interface, ease of account fund management, and customer service.
To keep users updated on transaction progress, First Tech FCU sends notifications for important events, including cleared checks, completed transactions, transfer failure and success, and insufficient funds. Users receive these alerts through email or mobile, depending on their preference. They’re also free to customize alerts according to their needs.
Other First Tech Federal Credit Union Business Products
First Tech FCU’s business savings accounts come in three tiers:
- Simple Business Savings is available to non-members and offers an APY of 0.05% and requires a minimum opening deposit of $25.
- Business Membership Savings, which is exclusive to First Tech FCU members, offers an APY of 0.05% for a lower opening deposit of $5.
- Business Instant Access, which is also exclusive to First Tech FCU members, uses a tiered APY system. Its rates range between 0.35% to 0.70%, depending on your account’s average daily balance. The monthly fee is $10, which can be waived by meeting the minimum average daily balance of $5,000.
Business Certificates of Deposit
First Tech FCU’s business CDs earn interest at an APY of 0.40% for its shortest term (six months) and 1.70% for its longest term (60 months). Dividend rates are fixed, making profit predictable.
To protect businesses from unforeseen circumstances and accidents, First Tech FCU offers a wide range of business insurance products, which include
- Directors & officers (D&O) liability
- Inland marine policy
- Business umbrella policy
- Professional liability
- Workers’ compensation policy
- Commercial vehicle policy
- Employment practices liability
- Crime insurance
- Business owner’s policy (BOP)
- Builders risk policy
First Tech FCU is able to offer these products and services through its partnership with Addison Avenue Financial Partners, LLC.
First Tech Federal Credit Union Business Checking Pros & Cons
|Access to Co-op Shared Branch network||High minimum balance requirements|
|Rewards on debit card purchases||No fee-free accounts|
|Highly-rated mobile app||Low APY|
Although First Tech FCU only operates physical branches in eight states, the credit union’s participation in the Co-op Shared Branch network gives customers the freedom to access in-person banking services anywhere in the country. Its mobile banking app, which is well-rated on Google Play and App Store, provides an easy digital banking experience.
However, First Tech FCU isn’t a good fit for businesses wanting to bank without a monthly fee. Its basic checking account charges a $6 monthly fee, which can only be waived with a minimum balance of $1,500. Although it offers interest-earning checking, accounts are required to maintain balances of $50,000 or over to access First Tech FCU’s highest rates.
First Tech Federal Credit Union Business Checking User Reviews
|Good loan rates||Slow response times|
|Easy online application process||Understaffed at physical locations|
|Personalized customer service|
First Tech FCU has a rating of 2.7 out of 5 on WalletHub and 4.3 out of 5 on Trustpilot. Customers seem to have mixed experiences with the credit union’s customer service arm. A few claimed that the credit union is slow to resolve issues and provides conflicting information when asked about credit union policies and products. They note that many of its physical locations only have one teller available, which elongates wait times.
However, the larger majority said that First Tech FCU’s customer service staff is friendly and helpful. Positive reviews typically praise First Tech FCU’s ability to provide personalized customer service. According to reviewers, the staff takes time to understand each customer’s financial situation and recommend products according to their needs.
Many positive reviews also remark on First Tech FCU’s lending products. Customers like that the credit union offers better loan rates than its competitors and that it makes the loan application process fast and seamless.
Alternatives to First Tech Federal Credit Union Business Checking
If you want access to higher interest rates, fee-free business checking, or lending products, you may want to consider these alternatives:
- Bluevine* is best for businesses seeking competitive interest rates. The digital-only banking solution offers 2.00% APY on balances up to and including $250,000 if your account meets its activity requirements.
- Affinity Plus Federal Credit Union is best for fee-free business checking. It charges no monthly fee and has no minimum balance requirements.
- Chase is best for full-service banking and access to lending products. It offers business lines of credit, small business loans, and commercial real estate financing.
*Bluevine is a financial technology (fintech) platform that provides Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation (FDIC) insurance through a supporting bank partnership with Coastal Community Bank.
The business checking accounts of First Tech FCU provide all the checking features a typical small business would need. However, the provider offers no free account options, which might be a dealbreaker if having access to lower fees is your main reason for choosing a credit union over a traditional bank. Still, First Tech FCU is an excellent, affordable option if you need a business checking provider that also provides business insurance products.