Summary of the best credit unions
I started with checking the competition looking for the credit unions that most frequently appear on best credit union lists. I then drilled down further, to look at the specific product offerings of each, as well as what each credit union specializes in.
Except for Boeing Employees Credit Union, each of the credit unions on this list makes their services available on a national level, even if they are only locally-based. They also offer all the services you would normally find at a bank, including checking and savings accounts, money markets, certificates of deposit, and loans of all types.
And naturally, greater weight was given to credit unions that specialize in a specific area. For example, Navy Federal Credit Union specializes in offering their services to active and retired members of the US military and their families. Boeing Employees Credit Union is practically unique in the credit union world, in that they do offer business services, bank accounts, and loans.
Alternative banking options to go with your credit union account
As you can see from the above descriptions of services provided by credit unions, they’re not quite as comprehensive as those available at more advanced banks. But there are banking services that can be used in conjunction with a credit union relationship to provide those additional services.
Referred to as a neo-bank, Chime offers a combined savings and checking account, and operates entirely online. That is, there are no traditional brick-and-mortar branches behind this banking service. In fact, technically speaking, Chime isn’t even considered a bank. Instead, it acts as the front-end experience for financial services.
The account comes with a Visa debit card that also helps you to save money. It does this using round-ups. That’s a process by which you make payday loans OK a purchase, and the amount charged to your spending account is debited for a rounded-up amount. For example, if you spend $6.25 on a purchase, your spending account will be charged an even $7. The extra $0.75 will be transferred into your savings account. And because it’s done automatically, you’ll be accumulating savings without even knowing it happened.
Chime is completely free to use, with no monthly fees or minimum balance requirements. Think of it more as a financial app that enables you to build your savings, and earn at least a little bit in interest.
Chime Disclosure – Chime is a financial technology company, not a bank. Banking services provided by, and debit card issued by, The Bancorp Bank or Stride Bank, N.A.; Members FDIC.
Novo is a limited service bank designed specifically for small businesses and freelancers. It’s actually an independent tech company that’s partnered with Middlesex Federal Savings, a Massachusetts-based full-service bank.
Novo offers just a single account type, which is their business checking account. It requires $50 to open, but there is no minimum balance requirement thereafter. You can make mobile deposits into the account, connect it with digital wallets, accept foreign checks, and even send and receive international money transfers in multiple currencies.
The account also offers integration with QuickBooks, Stripe, Xero, and TransferWise. It comes with a MasterCard business debit card that offers unlimited ATM fee reimbursements. One of the most compelling features of the checking account is that it has no fees, other than a $27 charge for non-sufficient funds for returned deposited items.
Discover Cashback Debit
Discover is best known for their lineup of generous cashback credit cards. But they also offer a debit card providing cashback that’s one of the very best in the industry.