Millennial Cash: Don’t overlook credit score union bank cards

7 mins read

Once you’re steadily bombarded with adverts for bank cards at large banks, it’s simple to miss bank cards at an area credit score union. These not-for-profit organizations sometimes require membership primarily based on location or affiliation with an employer, a member of the family or a company. Main bank card issuers typically don’t have these necessities.

However whereas the rewards and perks are sometimes flashier on bank-issued bank cards, credit score union bank cards might provide beneficiant incentives of their very own or different types of worth. Plus, a credit score union supplies lots of the similar companies that banks do, however the income are returned to members within the type of decreased charges, decrease rates of interest and extra.

Listed here are some methods wherein credit score union bank cards can eclipse glitzy gives from banks.


It’s not unusual to seek out bank cards at a credit score union with decrease annual charges, steadiness switch charges, money advance charges, late charges and so forth. In reality, the common late charge is about $10 cheaper at a credit score union than at a financial institution, in keeping with a Membership Advantages report by the Credit score Union Nationwide Affiliation. The kinds of charges assessed range by credit score union.

Navy Federal Credit score Union in Virginia, as an illustration, has a navy focus and costs to match members’ existence.

“We all know that a lot of our navy members are stationed overseas so having no international transaction charges on any of our bank cards, we predict, is a extremely incredible means that we’re in a position to serve our group,” says Justin Zeidman, head of bank card merchandise on the credit score union.

Charges are an vital issue to contemplate when selecting a bank card at any establishment.


In the event you carry a steadiness on a bank card over a protracted interval, you possibly can probably save more cash on curiosity with a bank card from a credit score union than one from a financial institution. That’s as a result of, not like at banks, rates of interest at federally chartered credit score unions are capped. Federal legislation caps the rate of interest on loans and bank cards at 15%. Nonetheless, the Nationwide Credit score Union Administration Board briefly raised it to 18% and lately voted to keep up this charge via March 10, 2023.

As of March 2021, the nationwide common rate of interest for a bank card from a credit score union is 10.97% in contrast with 12.55% at banks , in keeping with the NCUA.


Some credit score union bank cards compete with the sign-up bonuses or ongoing rewards charges discovered at large banks. It’s one of many methods these not-for-profit establishments return worth to members.

For Keenan Kimbrough , a 27-year-old resident of Pennsylvania, the rewards and low-interest charges have been price making the swap from a bank-issued bank card to a credit score union card. His credit score union card will get a decrease rate of interest of 12% in contrast with the 22% of the previous card and the credit score union card earns elevated rewards in frequent spending classes.

When redeeming rewards, “I can get $40 or $50” in money again, Kimbrough says. “It was a great transfer.”


When you might have less-than-ideal credit score and don’t have the funds for for a safety deposit on a secured bank card, a credit score union might present alternate options to construct credit score. As an illustration, USAlliance Monetary, a credit score union primarily based in New York , is certainly one of many credit score unions that gives a credit score builder mortgage instead for members who can’t pay a minimal deposit upfront to qualify for a secured bank card.

“Over half, round 53%, of members are at credit score unions that supply credit score builder loans that assist individuals set up credit score,” says Jordan van Rijn, senior economist for the Credit score Union Nationwide Affiliation.

With this kind of mortgage, the quantity borrowed is held in a checking account whilst you make small incremental funds over the time period of the mortgage. At USAlliance Monetary, the bottom cost with a credit score builder mortgage could be round $4 2 a month in contrast with a minimal upfront value of $250 for a secured bank card. On the finish of the mortgage, the funds are returned to you and could be utilized towards a secured bank card deposit to proceed establishing credit score.


Credit score unions sometimes present members entry to sources in relation to managing a bank card or spending.

“Monetary schooling and monetary literacy applications are extraordinarily frequent at credit score unions, that’s an enormous a part of what they do,” van Rijn says. “Now we have information exhibiting that 83% of credit score union members are at credit score unions that supply monetary schooling courses.”

Assets can be found within the type of on-line instructional instruments, seminars or partnerships with organizations that present credit score counseling or monetary planning companies. Choices range by credit score union.


This text was supplied to The Related Press by the private finance web site NerdWallet. Melissa Lambarena is a author at NerdWallet. E-mail: Twitter: @lissalambarena.


NerdWallet: How to decide on a bank card in 4 simple steps

Leave a Reply

Previous Story

State finances boosted early childhood ed by $30 million | Information

Next Story

FBOs reveal high ideas to enhance services and customer support