If you’re looking for a full-service credit union that can meet your business checking needs, First Tech Federal Credit Union (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, business certificates of deposit (CDs) with competitive rates, and business insurance. The Palo Alto, California-based credit union has branches in California, Colorado, Georgia, Idaho, Oregon, Massachusetts, Texas, and Washington. It also offers in-person banking services through Co-op Shared Branch network locations.
- High minimum balance requirements to waive monthly fee
- $100 opening deposit requirement
- Lacks small business lending products
- Higher-tier accounts earn interest
- Rewards-earning Business Debit Mastercard
- Free digital banking with e-deposits, e-statements, and bill payment
- Business CDs, business savings accounts, and business insurance products
- Overdraft protection service
- Customized alerts
How First Tech Federal Credit Union Stacks Up With Its Competitors
Annual Percentage Yield (APY)
Out-of-Network ATM Fee
Minimum Opening Deposit
Simple Business Checking
Basic Business Checking
Unlimited domestic ATM fee reimbursements
When First Tech Federal Credit Union Is a Good Fit
- You want nationwide access to in-person banking services: First Tech FCU has more than 30 branches, and 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 up to a rate of 0.10% on balances. 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, builder’s risk, and commercial vehicle policies.
When To Consider First Tech Federal Credit Union Alternatives
- Your business needs lending products: First Tech FCU offers only commercial lending products. A good alternative would be Self-Help Federal Credit Union, whose wide range of lending products caters specifically to small businesses. Check out our Self-Help FCU Business Checking review to know more about its lending options.
- You want to open a free checking account online: There are no fee-free First Tech FCU accounts. We recommend the online-only banking solution Novo, which offers an online business checking account with no monthly fee, opening deposit, and required minimum balance requirements. Read our review of Novo Business Checking to learn other fee-free benefits it provides to small businesses.
- 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 2.0% on qualifying balances up to $250,000 for Standard Checking. Our Bluevine business checking review provides details on how to qualify for the APY.
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
First Tech Federal Credit Union Business Checking Requirements
Among the primary First Tech Federal credit union business checking requirements is that business owners must first become First Tech FCU members. 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 (see 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 Federal Credit Union Business Checking features 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 come with a free rewards-earning debit card, free digital banking, and banking alerts.
Members who choose the higher tier Business Dividend Checking account earn up to 0.10% interest on their accounts. Although there’s no minimum balance requirement to earn interest, a minimum daily balance of $5,000 must be met to waive the $15 monthly fee. The interest is compounded and credited monthly.
Rewards-earning Mastercard Debit Card
Both of the credit union’s business checking accounts come with a free Business Debit Mastercard, which earns one reward 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.
The card also carries several benefits, like discounts on useful business software, such as Microsoft 365, Salesforce Essentials, 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
- Manage cards
- Deposit checks fee-free
- View e-statements
- Transfer funds between accounts
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 has good ratings on App Store (4.7 from around 36,000 reviews) and on Google Play (4.5 with nearly 12,000 reviews). Users said the app is functional and provides a convenient user experience. However, several customers commented that it now keeps freezing. They also complained about the removal of the PIN quick access feature and the unauthorized network location error they often receive. Some also mentioned the app is glitchy.
To keep users updated on transaction progress, First Tech FCU sends notifications for important events, including cleared checks, completed transactions, failed or successful transfers, and insufficient funds. Users receive these alerts through email or mobile, depending on their preference. They are also free to customize alerts according to their needs.
Clients can easily reach First Tech FCU customer service through its 24-hour hotline at (855) 855-8805, schedule a virtual or in-person appointment online, access live chat, and send secure messages if they register for digital banking.
Through virtual appointments, customers can seek assistance for general account maintenance, apply for loans and membership, and discuss fraud issues. They can also ask for information about debit and credit cards, including digital banking setup.
First Tech FCU offers an overdraft protection service where you can link existing savings accounts and credit cards to your checking account so funds are transferred automatically when an overdraft occurs.
Other First Tech Federal Credit Union Business Products
First Tech FCU’s business savings accounts come in three tiers:
- Simple Business Savings has a minimum opening deposit of $25, no monthly maintenance fees, and an APY of 0.05%.
- Business Membership Savings has no monthly maintenance fees and provides an APY of 0.05% for a lower opening deposit of $5.
- Business Instant Access uses a tiered APY system with interest compounded and credited every month. Its rates range from 3.30% to 5.30%, depending on your account’s average daily balance. The monthly fee can be waived by meeting the minimum average daily balance of $5,000.
First Tech FCU’s business CDs earn an APY of 4.50% for its shortest term (six months) and 3.55% for its longest term (60 months). Dividend rates are fixed and renewals are automatic.
First Tech FCU offers business loan programs, specifically property funding up to $10 million and above. It’s available to properties in all 50 states except Louisiana.
Loan programs are open to the following:
- Multifamily properties
- Office and industrial buildings
- Retail and mixed-use buildings
- Self-storage buildings
- Mobile home parks
To protect businesses from unforeseen circumstances and accidents, First Tech FCU offers a wide range of business insurance products, which include
- Directors and 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 can offer these products and services through its partnership with Addison Avenue Financial Partners, LLC.
First Tech Federal Credit Union offers three Platinum Mastercard credit cards.
- The Platinum Rewards Mastercard has no annual fees and earns one reward point for every dollar spent. The points can be redeemed for travel, merchandise, gift cards, and statement credits.
- The Platinum Mastercard lets you save money with its low rates and transfer balances from other cards. This card has no monthly fees or foreign transaction fees.
- The Platinum Secured Mastercard allows you to build credit and secure your credit limit through a refundable security deposit. Read our First Tech Platinum Secured Mastercard review for more details.
First Tech Federal Credit Union Business Checking Reviews From Users
As of this writing, no customer has given a First Tech Federal Credit Union business checking review. However, the bank scored 4.0 on Trustpilot from around 470 reviews.
Most customers said that the credit union has excellent customer service and a professional and knowledgeable staff. In particular, users praised the customer support’s personalized approach, such as recommending products that suit their needs and making a follow-up to ensure that concerns were fully resolved.
Reviewers also mentioned that the account opening process was efficient and seamless. Some long-term customers expressed satisfaction with the credit union’s quick response to requests, and others also highlighted the convenience of scheduling virtual and in-person appointments on the website. However, a few complained about rejected credit card applications despite having high credit scores.
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)
Yes, as First Tech Federal Credit Union’s deposits are federally insured by the government agency National Credit Union Administration (NCUA), up to $250,000 per individual depositor.
Yes, it is easy to qualify as a member of First Tech FCU if you:
- Are employed in one of its 900-plus partner companies
- Have family or household members who are existing members
- Work for the State of Oregon
- Live or work in Lane County, Oregon
- Belong to the Financial Fitness Association or Computer History Museum
If none of these categories apply, you can schedule a virtual or in-person appointment for more information.
First Tech FCU has more than 600,000 active members at present.
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.
If you’re trying to decide between a credit union and a bank for your business, you can check out the benefits and drawbacks of each in our comparison of a credit union vs bank.