As a member of a credit union you’ll be able to do everything you can do at a bank but with a major difference. While banks are for-profit institutions, credit unions are not. Instead, they are financial cooperatives owned and operated by their members.
Because credit unions tend to have lower operating costs than national banks, they frequently offer higher interest rates on checking and savings accounts, as well as lower account fees, lower interest rates on loan products and more flexible lending standards.
Most credit unions are relatively small compared to national banks, so chances are you will have to do a little extra research to find one you like. However, with online offerings, credit unions can be accessible to anyone, anywhere. And large ATM networks make accessing your money easy, even if you don’t have a credit union branch nearby.
Our picks for best credit unions of 2021-2022
Reach your financial goals faster by becoming a member of a credit union.
Unlike regular banks, credit unions are member-owned, which means they have your best interest at hand. Click on your state to get started.
Penfed is our choice for the best overall credit union for the second year in a row. Its combination of high yields, low fees, easy-to-meet membership requirements and large ATM network make it hard to beat.
- High yields paid on CDs, savings and checking accounts
- Low monthly maintenance fees
- Easy to join
- Large ATM network
- Checking account has a maintenance fee.
- Not all savings accounts come with an ATM card.
You can become a member of Penfed just by opening a savings account with a minimum of $5. The Premium Online Savings Account pays 0.50% interest on all balances and has no monthly maintenance fees. There is a little bit of a trade-off, however. This account doesn’t come with an ATM card, so you’ll need to make a withdrawal at a branch or transfer funds to a different account in order to access your money. Penfed’s Regular Savings and Money Market Savings accounts do provide access to over 85,000 ATMs across the country, but pay lower interest rates. The Regular account pays 0.05% and the Money Market pays up to 0.15%, depending on the account balance.
With the Access America Checking account, you can earn 0.15% interest on balances below $20,000 and 0.35% on balances between $20,000 …….