8 Best Nationwide Credit Unions

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If you are looking for a checking or savings account and traditional banking doesn’t meet your needs, credit unions are worth considering. 

When you work with the best credit unions, you sign up to become a member. This makes you part of the community and lets you enjoy a better customer service experience, solid rates and minimal fees. 

While most credit unions are location-specific, there are options that serve customers across the country. Here are the best credit unions that work with customers nationwide.

Top Credit Unions Nationwide

penfed

PENFED

Offers financial resources to military members and families.

consumers credit union

Consumer Credit Union

Low joining fees, rewards checking, and competitive APY.

bethpage federal credit union

Bethpage Federal

Offers competitive products including teen checking.

The right credit union for you will vary based on your needs. It’s important to select an option with membership requirements that you can satisfy and products that cover your financial needs. 

Whether you need checking accounts, loans, credit cards or something else, there’s an option for you. In order of Trustpilot ranking, here are the best credit unions nationwide.

1. Navy Federal Credit Union

Navy Credit Union home

Navy Federal Credit Union offers products with better rates and fewer fees than normal banks. It is one of the best credit unions in the country.

The company’s nationwide footprint is centered on Department of Defense (DoD) facilities. This means that you or a family member must have ties to the armed forces, DoD or National Guard. 

If you qualify, you’ll need to set up a membership savings account and maintain a $5 minimum balance. 

According to Navy Federal Credit Union, there are huge saving opportunities for members. On average, members save $352 per year. Better yet, you can find a wide range of financial products through Navy Federal.

These include, but are not limited to:

  • Savings accounts
  • Free checking accounts
  • Business checking accounts
  • Mortgages
  • Auto loans
  • Credit cards
  • Certificates of deposit (CDs)
  • Student loan refinancing
  • Home equity loans

Most members of Navy Federal Credit Union report having a pleasant experience with the company. However, the limited branch locations can be a bit inconvenient at times. 

Members who cannot visit a branch in person can access their accounts online or by downloading the mobile app via Google Play or the Apple App Store.

Pros

  • Low membership fee
  • Potential savings
  • No monthly fees

Cons

  • Military or DoD eligibility requirements
  • Limited branch availability
  • Lower interest rates

2. PenFed

Pentagon Federal Credit Union

Pentagon Federal Credit Union, otherwise known as PenFed Credit Union, was founded to provide adequate financial resources to military members and their families.

However, since its founding, the credit union has expanded to offer membership to everyone. This expansion makes it one of the best credit unions in the United States.

Like Navy Federal Credit Union, you’ll find a full suite of financial products. 

A few of these options include:

  • Checking and savings accounts
  • Credit cards
  • Auto loans 
  • Mortgages
  • Home equity loans

As a PenFed member, you can satisfy the vast majority of your financial needs if you use this credit union. Plus, it just takes a $5 initial deposit to get started.

The Access America Checking account is one of the company’s best offerings and is interest-bearing. You’ll earn up to 11x the national average on your deposits. 

In addition, you can avoid the $10 monthly fee attached to this account by making monthly direct deposits of at least $500 or maintaining a daily balance of at least $500. 

It’s easy to manage your PenFed checking or savings account online. Furthermore, the credit union offers a mobile app for Android and iOS devices. Better yet, you can access surcharge-free ATMs.

Pros

  • Interest-bearing checking account 
  • Low minimum deposits
  • Competitive interest rates
  • Membership available to everyone

Cons

  • Limited branch availability
  • High nonsufficient funds fee

3. First Tech Federal Credit Union

First Tech Federal Credit Union

Among the best credit unions, First Tech Federal Credit Union serves tech companies and their employees throughout the country. There are many opportunities to become a member of this credit union, but not everyone will be eligible.

Some of the account types this credit union offers includes:

  • Checking accounts
  • A savings account
  • Retirement accounts
  • Business accounts
  • Credit cards
  • Home loans
  • Personal loans
  • Student loans
  • Share certificates (Make over 4% APY)

In addition to checking and savings accounts as well as their other financial products, this credit union offers various educational resources on their website that allow members and non-members alike to improve their financial literacy.

Plus, First Tech Federal Credit Union is committed to community involvement. They offer scholarships, grants, employee giving and more.

They currently offer a credit card that offers 20,000 rewards points when you spend $3,000 in the first 60 days.

Pros

  • Becoming a member is easy
  • Financial resources
  • Multiple product types

Cons

  • Limited locations
  • Not everyone is eligible

4. Connexus Credit Union

Connexus Credit Union

If you are looking for the best credit unions, Connexus Credit Union is worth considering. It serves 421,000+ members in all 50 states. Although there are plenty of opportunities for membership, not everyone is eligible. 

To qualify as a member of Connexus, you need to be an employee, member, retiree or family member of one of the credit union’s partner companies or groups.

A few of these partners include: 

  • ALPA FCU
  • BMW Motorcycle Owners of American Group
  • Honeywell
  • Kraft
  • Liberty Mutual Insurance
  • TSI Incorporated

There is a full list of membership eligibility criteria on the Connexus website. However, if you really want to join, you can become a member of the Connexus Association for a one-time $5 donation to satisfy the membership requirements. 

Once you are accepted, you’ll have access to many financial products.

A few of these include:

  • Checking and savings accounts
  • Mortgages
  • Auto loans
  • Individual retirement accounts (IRAs)
  • Student loans

The credit union’s stand-out checking account is called the Xtraordinary account. It offers up to 1.75% APY on your deposits. 

With Connexus, you can easily manage your accounts with a straightforward app that is available on both Android and iOS devices.

Pros

  • 67,000+ free ATMs
  • Interest-bearing checking account 
  • No monthly fees

Cons

  • Limited physical locations
  • Interest not compounded daily
  • Inactivity fee

5. Bethpage Credit Union

Bethpage Credit Union

Not only is Bethpage Federal Credit Union the largest credit union in the state of New York, but it’s also available to everyone in the country. It’s one of the best credit unions worth considering.

Membership requires a $5 deposit into a savings account. You’ll find over 30 branches spread out between Long Island and New York City. 

However, if you live beyond that geographic area, you’ll be restricted to online money management or using the credit union’s app.

This company has competitive interest rates and a wide range of banking services. 

You’ll find: 

  • A free checking account
  • Savings accounts
  • A teen checking account
  • Money market accounts
  • Credit cards
  • Mortgages
  • Auto loans
  • And more

Interestingly, the company offers several teen-only options. If you are a teen or have a teen, Bethpage Credit Union is a good option for money management.

A secure digital wallet gives Bethpage members the ability to seamlessly manage their funds with Apple Pay, Google Pay, Samsung Pay, Mastercard Click to Pay and CarNav by CO-OP. 

You can also access free ATMs through this credit union.

Pros

  • Competitive rates
  • No monthly fees
  • Online banking options

Cons

  • Limited physical locations

6 . Consumers Credit Union

Consumer Credit Union

Consumers Credit Union is open to anyone who is willing to make a one-time $5 membership payment. 

This company offers a wide range of financial products that can help you meet your financial goals.

Whether you want to boost your savings with the help of a certificate of deposit (CD) or take out a jumbo home loan, Consumers Credit Union has you covered. 

If you choose Consumers Credit Union, you can get: 

  • Free checking accounts
  • Rewards checking accounts
  • Health savings accounts
  • Certificates of deposit
  • Home equity loans
  • Auto loans
  • Credit cards
  • And more

It’s easy to manage your account online or via an app that’s available for Android and iOS devices. Plus, you can access surcharge-free ATMs.

The downside with Consumers Credit Union is the relatively low consumer ratings. Most of the negative reviews were centered on bad customer service experiences.

That said, the limited sample size of reviews makes it difficult to nail down what’s not working for most customers. 

Pros

  • Anyone can join for $5
  • Unlimited ATM network

Cons

  • Overdraft fees present
  • Best rates require effort

Learn more: Consumer Credit Union Review

7. Alliant Credit Union

Alliant Credit Union

Alliant Credit Union offers a digital experience with no physical branch options.

To become a member, you must meet one of the following requirements:

  • Be a current or retired employee of an Alliant partner
  • Live or work near Alliant’s corporate headquarters in Chicago
  • Be a domestic partner or immediate family member of an Alliant member
  • Sign up to be a member of Foster Care to Success

Keep in mind that if you choose the Foster Care to success option, Alliant will pay the one-time $5 fee for you to become a member.

The rates that come with the Alliant deposit accounts are impressive. You’ll find opportunities to build your savings with a high-rate savings account, high-rate checking account and certificates of deposit. 

As you work towards your savings goals, you can open a supplemental savings account and add a nickname to encourage more diligent savings. 

In addition to checking and savings accounts, Alliant offers: 

  • Teen checking accounts
  • Credit cards
  • Auto loans
  • Mortgages
  • Personal loans
  • A car buying service
  • Individual retirement accounts (IRA)

As an Alliant Credit Union member, you can confidently manage your finances on the go via an app that’s available for Android and iOS devices. You can also oversee your account online. 

Alternately, if you live in Chicago, you can visit one of the company’s two physical branches. 

Note: As of July 2022, new members can earn a $100 bonus for signing up, building up at least $10,000 in the account by August 31, 2022 and keeping the funds there until November 30, 2022.

Pros

  • Interest-bearing checking account
  • Easy membership requirements
  • Easy-to-use mobile app

Cons

  • Only two physical branches
  • Restrictions on kid’s accounts

8. Latino Community Credit Union

Latino Community Credit Union

The Latino Community Credit Union (LCCU) is open to all members of the Latino Community Development Center (LCDC). However, anyone can join, making it one of the best credit unions in the country.

Within the 11 LCCU branches across North Carolina, the LCDC runs workshops to provide the right financial resources to members. This means that you’ll be part of an exciting movement whether or not you are Latino. 

The initial deposit requirement is $10 to become an LCCU member. That’s $5 higher than the other options on this list. Nevertheless, the focus on providing financial literacy resources sets the credit union apart. 

As a member, you can access:

  • Savings accounts
  • Certificates of deposit
  • Retirement accounts
  • Checking accounts
  • Credit cards
  • Mortgages
  • Personal loans
  • Auto loans
  • And more

The checking account is free to open, and you can avoid monthly fees if you maintain a minimum daily balance of $250. 

Members of this credit union can manage their accounts online or via the app that is available on the Apple App Store or Google Play.

Pros

  • Serves the Latino community
  • Available online in all states
  • Competitive interest rates

Cons

  • Limited branch availability

Credit Unions FAQs

If you still aren’t sure whether or not a credit union is the right option for you, these frequently asked questions might be able to help.

Why should I use a credit union vs. a regular bank?

Compared to traditional banking, the best credit unions typically offer lower monthly fees, better interest rates and improved customer service. Plus, they are overseen by the National Credit Union Administration.

Whether you want to tap into the lowest possible interest rate for a loan or avoid the litany of fees that come with a regular bank, choosing credit unions might be right for you. 

What types of accounts do credit unions offer?

The types of accounts offered by credit unions vary based on the individual credit union.

At the very least, you’ll generally find a checking account, savings account and some loan products at credit unions.

Are credit unions safe to use?

Yes, credit unions are safe to use. The National Credit Union Administration is responsible for monitoring federal credit unions. 

Part of that monitoring includes insurance for up to $250,000 in NCUA-insured deposit accounts. This insurance amount matches the FDIC insurance you’ll find at traditional banks.

What downsides are there to using a credit union?

Generally, credit unions have fewer branches than traditional banks. Plus, not all credit unions offer a wide range of products or nationwide availability. 

Before committing to a membership at a particular credit union, make sure they offer what you need. 

How can I choose the right credit union for my needs?

You can start your search by reviewing the membership requirements of different credit unions. If you don’t meet these requirements, you’ll need to keep looking. 

Additionally, look at the financial products offered and resources available through each of the the credit unions. In some cases, a lack of products or perks will cause you to seek out a different option. 

Summary

Aside from the membership requirements, your money management experience at a credit union will be somewhat similar to that of a traditional or online bank. You’ll have many of the same account options and ways to manage your money.

The biggest difference is that you might find better rates for checking and savings accounts in addition to friendlier customer service representatives. That said, these perks can come at a higher initial price.

Make sure to consider all of the fees before jumping into a credit union membership. You’ll want to verify that any added upfront costs will be worth it in the long run.

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