Our pick for credit union checking: Consumers Credit Union Rewards Checking
- No monthly fees
- No balance requirements
- ATM fee reimbursements
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Wondering how to compare credit unions? They’re run by members instead of shareholders, so you get more say in how they operate. But smaller institutions could mean fewer branches and ATMs. Check out our guide on credit unions and find out what to look for — and avoid — when exploring accounts.
Make sure you keep the following features in mind when weighing up the pros and cons of different credit union bank accounts:
Start by checking what fees and charges will apply to your account. These include monthly fees, annual fees, overdraft fees, bill pay fees, foreign transaction fees and anything else you can be charged. Read the fine print closely to familiarize yourself with all penalties that may apply, and check to see if any of the fees can be waived if you meet certain conditions, like a minimum balance requirement.
Compare the options you have for accessing your funds: Can you manage your money online, from an app, over the phone and/or by popping into a branch? If you ever need fast access to your funds in an emergency, can you withdraw money from your account without incurring any fees? If you regularly use ATMs, how large is the credit union’s ATM network?
In the modern world, more and more of our everyday banking transactions are carried out online or via your smartphone. With this in mind, read reviews and testimonials to find out how user-friendly the credit union’s Internet banking portal and mobile app are.
Use the table to compare bank accounts from popular credit unions. The table has two tabs: one for checking accounts and one for savings. Sort each tab by minimum deposit, fees and more. Compare your top picks side-by-side by clicking the “Compare” box next to each.
If you’re thinking about joining a credit union, consider the following factors when making your decision:
A credit union is a nonprofit financial institution that generally offers the same products as traditional banks. Each credit union member owns a share in the organization they belong to, and each has a vote in how the credit union is managed or governed.
While banks pass any profits on to their external shareholders, a credit union’s profits are put back into the products and services they offer. This aims to let members enjoy their share of profits through better customer service, lower mortgage interest rates, fewer fees and better banking products.
Originally, credit unions were created by various industries to give their workers access to banking products without having to pay high rates and fees. For this reason, many credit unions today still only cater to certain groups, such as teachers unions or religious groups. However, some have been able to expand their membership to the general public.
Things to watch out for while comparing a credit union vs. bank include:
Here are the top 10 largest credit unions in the US by assets:
Credit unions offer all the features you’d expect from an ordinary bank, but often with fewer fees and better features. Compare traditional checking accounts and credit union accounts to find the option that’s the best fit for you.
A kids’ savings account with a generous interest rate that transitions to a lackluster regular savings account when your child turns 18.
Navy Federal’s Visa Buxx card has no fees, but you must qualify for membership with the credit union.
We look for the following features when rating kids debit cards: monthly fees, features, availability, customer service, interest rate and more.
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Golden 1 Credit Union’s New Generation Checking account is free for teens and comes with check-writing capabilities.
Get low rates with minimal fees — if you qualify for its limited membership.
Offers no annual fee, discounted HELOCs — but locations are limited.
Clearwater Credit Union’s primary savings account offers the convenience of online and in-person banking — but lacks a high APY rate.
We explore how to use Compound Finance for lending and borrowing.
A teen checking account specifically designed for students with extra rewards for good academic performance.
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