The 20 Best Credit Unions of 2022

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Credit unions typically serve a specific community or employer, and may offer a more personal approach to banking than some of the major bank chains. They also often have good rates and special offers on banking products for those who qualify.

GOBankingRates’ Top Picks: Best Checking Accounts of 2022
And More: Best CD Accounts

If you’re considering joining a credit union, make it one of the best. GOBankingRates has identified the Best Credit Unions of 2022 by examining the following factors:

  • Total assets
  • Number of branch locations
  • Minimum deposit to open a checking account
  • Checking account fee
  • Minimum balance needed in checking account to avoid fee
  • Minimum deposit to open a savings account
  • Minimum balance needed to earn savings APY
  • Savings APY
  • Minimum to open a 12-month CD account
  • 12-month CD APY
  • 60-month CD APY
  • Customer service products offered
  • Bauer rating
  • Products/services offered
  • Average mobile app rating

Check out GOBankingRates’ picks for the Best Credit Unions of 2022.

Our Best Credit Union

Navy Federal Credit Union

Why it stands out: Navy Federal Credit Union has all the standard accounts, including CDs with competitive rates. Its savings account APY is also higher than the average account.

Pros:

  • Competitive APY on savings account
  • Competitive APY on 1-year CD
  • No checking account fee

Cons:

  • $1,000 minimum to open 1-year CD

What to look for: Navy Federal Credit Union offers a variety of financial products. It also has solid rates for those products: 0.25% APY for its savings account, 0.55% for its one-year CD and 0.90% for its five-year CD. It does require a $1,000 minimum to open its one-year CD. It also provides loans for items like your mortgage and auto, as well as credit cards.

READ OUR FULL REVIEW
A Better Way to Bank

More of the Best Credit Unions 2022

Eastman

Why it stands out: Eastman's savings account carries a solid APY. Its 1-year and 5-year CDs are also higher than many competitors on this list.

Pros:

  • Competitive APY for its savings account
  • Competitive APY for its 1-year and 5-year CDs
  • No checking fee

Cons:

  • $1,000 minimum to open a 1-year CD

What to look for: Eastman has a lot to offer with its CD accounts that carry a 0.65% APY for its one-year option and 1.10%APY for its five-year option. Its savings account APY is also competitive with a 0.30% APY. Along with that, Eastman offers auto loans, mortgage loans, credit cards and more.

  READ OUR FULL REVIEW

Police and Fire

Why it stands out: This credit union has a checking account with a competitive APY, and its CDs offer strong rates making this a good plae to grow your money.

Pros:

  • Higher-than-average APY for its checking account
  • Competitive APY for its 1-year and 5-year CDs
  • No checking fee

Cons:

  • $1,000 minimum to open a 1-year CD

What to look for: Police and Fire Federal Credit Union offers a checking account with no fee and a competitive APY of 0.175%. Its savings APY isn't as strong at 0.10%, but it also offers strong rates on its CDs. The one-year CD has an APY of 0.50% and the five-year APY has an APY of 1.00%. It also offers a number of other products, including auto and mortgage loans and credit cards.

READ OUR FULL REVIEW
A Better Way to Bank

State Employees' Credit Union

Why it stands out: State Employees' Credit Union doesn't require as high of a minimum to open a 1-year CD account, which can help those looking to do more with a little bit of money..

Pros:

  • Lower required minimum to open 1-year CD

Cons:

  • Rates are not as competitive across accounts

What to look for: State Employees' Credit Union has a number of products for customers, including auto and mortgage loans. It also has investment products for various needs. Its rates are not as competitive, with its savings account having a 0.10% APY. Its one-year CD has an APY of 0.35% and its five-year CD has an APY of 0.55%.

  READ OUR FULL REVIEW

    Wings Financial

    Why it stands out: Wings Financial has a lower required minimum to open its 1-year CD account, with fairly competitive rates.

    Pros:

    • Lower required minumum to open 1-year CD
    • No checking fee

    Cons:

    • While CD rates are decent, they are not as strong as some of the others

    What to look for: Wings Financial offers a competitive checking account as it comes with no monthly fee. Its savings account is not as competitive because its APY comes in at 0.15%, which is lower than some of the others. However, it has a good five-year CD.

    READ OUR FULL REVIEW
    A Better Way to Bank

    Alliant

    Why it stands out: Alliant offers a savings account and a checking account that both have higher-than-average APYs. You also won't have to deal with a checking account fee here.

    Pros:

    • Higher savings account APY
    • Higher checking account APY
    • No checking fee

    Cons:

    • $1,000 minimum required to open 1-year CD

    What to look for: Alliant has a lot to offer with its basic accounts. Its savings account has a strong APY at 0.55% and its checking account has a good one as well compared to other checking accounts at 0.25% APY. Its CDs aren't quite as strong as some others on the list. Its one-year CD has an APY of 0.55% and its five-year CD has an APY of 0.65%.

    READ OUR FULL REVIEW

    American Airlines

    Why it stands out: This credit union offers a savings account with one of the more competitive APYs, which makes it a good option for growing your emergency fund or other items you're saving up for.

    Pros:

    • Higher savings APY

    Cons:

    • Higher checking fee
    • $1,000 minimum required for 1-year CD

    What to look for: American Airlines Credit Union has a strong APY on its savings account at 0.40%. It also offers a good range of products with auto and mortgage loans as well as credit cards. Its CDs aren't as competitive as some of the other credit unions. Its one-year CD has an APY of 0.50% and its five-year CD has an APY of 0.80%.

    READ OUR FULL REVIEW
    A Better Way to Bank

      Patelco

      Why it stands out: This credit union offers no checking fee and a lower required minimum to open a CD account.

      Pros:

      • No checking fee
      • Lower minimum required for opening a 1-year CD

      Cons:

      • Lower rates on checking and savings accounts

      What to look for: Patelco's checking account has no monthly fee. Its rates aren't quite as competitive though. Its savings account has an APY of 0.05%, while its one-year CD has an APY of 0.25% and its five-year CD has an APY of 0.70%. It does offer a wide range of products that includes loans and credit cards.

      READ OUR FULL REVIEW

      Ent

      Why it stands out: With no checking fee and a lower minimum required to open a 1-year CD, this credit union won't cost you a lot.

      Pros:

      • No checking fee
      • Lower required minimum for opening 1-year CD

      Cons:

      • Less competitive rates

      What to look for: Ent Credit Union offers services that won't cost you a lot. Its checking account has no monthly fee. Its one-year CD also only requires a $25 minimum deposit. However, its rates aren't as strong as some of the other credit unions on this list. Its CDs have APYs of 0.29% and 0.84% for its one-year and five-year options, respectively. Its savings account APY is also lower at 0.05%.

      READ OUR FULL REVIEW
      A Better Way to Bank

      Pennsylvania State Employees

      Why it stands out: This credit union offers a 1-year CD that you just need $500 to open, making it a competitive banking option.

      Pros:

      • No checking fee
      • Lower required minimum to open a 1-year CD

      Cons:

      • Less competitive rates

      What to look for: At Pennsylvania State Employees, you'll only need $500 to open a one-year CD, which is lower than some of the others on this list. The checking account comes with no monthly fee, which is a solid perk for your basic banking needs. Both the checking and savings accounts have an APY of 0.05%, which is not the strongest. Its CD rates are also weaker at 0.45% APY for one-year and 0.80% for the five-year option.

      READ OUR FULL REVIEW

      Hudson Valley

      Why it stands out: There is no checking fee here and no minimum deposit requirement for its savings account.

      Pros:

      • No checking fee
      • Lower required minimum to open 1-year CD

      Cons:

      • Less competitive rates

      What to look for: Hudson Valley's one-year CD requires $500 to open it; however, the APY (0.25%) on it is not as strong as some of the others. Its five-year CD also doesn't have a strong rate, at 0.60% APY. The checking account comes with no monthly fee. Both the checking and savings accounts have a 0.02% APY. Hudson Valley does offer a variety of products for both personal and business needs.

      READ OUR FULL REVIEW
      A Better Way to Bank

      Desert Financial

      Why it stands out: The checking account at Desert Financial comes with no fee, which can make it a good option for your basic banking needs..

      Pros:

      • No checking fee

      Cons:

      • Less competitive rates

      What to look for: Desert Financial's checking account has no fee attached, making it a good option for your basic banking needs. This credit union also offers a variety of products, including credit cards, loans and products for wealth management. Its rates are not as competitive: Its APY for its savings account is 0.10%, and for its CDs, the rates are 0.35% APY for a one-year option and 0.75% for the five-year option.

      READ OUR FULL REVIEW

      Delta Community

      Why it stands out: Delta Community's APY on its 5-year CD stands out among competitors.

      Pros:

      • No checking fee
      • Higher-than-average 5-year CD APY

      Cons:

      • $1,000 minimum to open 1-year CD

      What to look for: Delta Community has no checking fee attached to its account. Although its savings account has a low APY of 0.08%, its five-year CD has a pretty strong rate of 1.00%. The one-year CD carries an APY of 0.55%, although you need $1,000 to open the one-year CD.

      READ OUR FULL REVIEW

      VyStar

      Why it stands out: This credit union offers competitive rates on many of its accounts, including its savings and CDs.

      Pros:

      • No checking fee
      • Competitive APY on checking, savings accounts and 5-year CD

      Cons:

      • Higher required minimum balance to achieve savings APY

      What to look for: VyStar has competitive rates on a number of accounts. Its checking account offers an APY of 0.10%, which is higher than many -- its savings account also offers that APY. Its five-year CD is also a good option at 1.00% APY. Its one-year CD isn't quite as strong as some of the others with an APY of 0.45%. This credit union also offers a number of other services, such as loans and credit cards.

      READ OUR FULL REVIEW

      Security Service

      Why it stands out: This credit union doesn't come with a checking account fee so you can keep more of your money.

      Pros:

      • No checking fee
      • Lower required minimum to open 1-year CD

      Cons:

      • Less competitive rates

      What to look for: Security Service's checking account doesn't have a fee tied to it, and its one-year CD only requires $500 to open it. Unfortunately, the rates on the CDs are not very competitive compared to others on this list. The one-year CD has an APY of 0.35% while the five-year CD has an APY of 0.90%.

      READ OUR FULL REVIEW

        Bethpage

        Why it stands out: This credit union offers a very competitive APY on its checking account along with no checking fee.

        Pros:

        • No checking fee
        • Competitive rate on its checking account
        • Very low minimum to open 1-year CD

        Cons:

        • Less competitive rates on CDs

        What to look for: Bethpage has a very strong APY on its checking account, which also comes with no fee. The APY stands out at 0.40%. Its savings account is not as strong at 0.10%. Its CD rates are also weaker at 0.45% APY for the one-year CD and 0.75% for the five-year CD. This credit union does offer a variety of products for personal and business needs.

        READ OUR FULL REVIEW

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        Members 1st Federal Credit Union

        Why it stands out: This credit union requires only $500 to open its 1-year CD, so you can take advantage of its APY even if you don't have as much money to spare.

        Pros:

        • No checking fee
        • Lower required minimum to open 1-year CD

        Cons:

        • Less competitive rates

        What to look for: This credit union has a lower minimum requirement to open a one-year CD at $500, but the APY on that CD is also lower at 0.35%. Its APYs for its savings and five-year CD are lower as well at 0.10% and 0.80%, respectively. However, the credit union offers a good variety of products and services, such as  loans, insurance and financial planning help.

        READ OUR FULL REVIEW

          Suncoast

          Why it stands out: Suncoast offers a checking account with no fee.

          Pros:

          • No checking fee
          • Lower required minimum to open 1-year CD account

          Cons:

          • Less competitive rates on some accounts

          What to look for: Suncoast's five-year CD has a pretty good APY at 0.95%, and you need just $500 to open one. The rates on its other products are not as competitive. Its savings account has an APY of 0.05% and its one-year CD has an APY of 0.40%. This credit union does offer a good amount of products: auto and mortgage loans, credit cards and more.

          READ OUR FULL REVIEW

          Lake Michigan Credit Union

          Lake Michigan

          Why it stands out: This credit union doesn't come with a checking account fee.

          Pros:

          • No checking fee
          • Lower required minimum to open 1-year CD

          Cons:

          • Less competitive rates

          What to look for: Lake Michigan only requires $500 to open a one-year CD. With that CD, you'll earn an APY of 0.30%. The APYs for its savings and five-year CD are also on the lower side at 0.10% and 0.85%, respectively. However, if you're looking for something more basic, the checking account here comes with no monthly fee.

          READ OUR FULL REVIEW

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            United Nations

            Why it stands out: This credit union doesn't require as much as others to open a 1-year CD.

            Pros:

            • No checking fee
            • Lower required minimum to open 1-year CD

            Cons:

            • Less competitive rates

            What to look for: United Nations' checking account comes with no monthly fee and a slightly higher than average APY at 0.05%. Its savings account has an APY range of 0.05%-0.10%. Although the one-year CD doesn't require as much to open it as some of the others on this list, its APY is only 0.20%. The five-year CD also has a lower APY at 0.50%.

            READ OUR FULL REVIEW

            How To Choose a Credit Union

            Credit unions have advantages and disadvantages compared with traditional banks, but the methods you should use to evaluate them are similar. Here are some of the factors you should consider when trying to pick a credit union.

            Know What Kind of Fees the Credit Union Charges

            High fees can counteract any benefits you get from banking with a particular credit union. Even accounts with no monthly fee can prove costly if they carry high overdraft, transfer or other fees.

            Read the Fine Print

            Some accounts that may seem attractive on the surface may be less appealing in the fine print. A credit union may offer an enticing savings rate on an initial deposit but a less-satisfying rate on subsequent deposits. Make sure you read over the details and requirements for every account you sign up for.

            Check the APY

            In the competitive world of financial services, many credit unions now offer no-fee and no-minimum checking and savings accounts. In this environment, APY becomes king. Check to see if the high APY you see is variable or promotional.

            Browse the Website and Mobile App

            Most credit unions now offer mobile and web access to accounts. If you’re a customer who values the ability to check your accounts or move money on the go — rather than having to visit a branch — electronic access is an important feature to check.

            Look for National Credit Union Administration (NCUA) Insurance

            Most legitimate credit unions have NCUA insurance, which is somewhat akin to the FDIC insurance carried by major banks. If a credit union doesn’t prominently display its NCUA insurance, look for one that does.

            FAQs About Credit Unions

            If you’ve always used traditional banks, you may have some questions about credit unions. Here are the answers to some of the most common questions.

            Can I Use Both a Credit Union and a Bank?

            As a consumer, you’re free to use whichever type of financial institution you like, assuming you qualify for membership into a credit union. Sometimes using both institutions makes sense, as you can leverage the strengths of each type. For example, you may want to take out a loan with your local credit union, which may have easier qualification requirements and lower rates, while keeping some money at an international bank that may have more branches nationwide, and be better equipped for global ATM access or mobile account management.

            Are Credit Unions Safe To Use?

            Most credit unions are federally insured via NCUA insurance, which from the perspective of a customer is similar to the FDIC insurance at member banks. Credit unions with this federal insurance will prominently display the NCUA logo. Some credit unions may have private insurance, but to be extra safe, you may want to stick to NCUA-backed institutions.

            How Do You Join a Credit Union?

            Most credit unions allow online applications for accounts, but not all. In some cases, you may have to visit a branch. Joining a credit union requires an application for membership at the time you open an account.

            Do All Credit Unions Have Membership Requirements?

            All credit unions have membership requirements, but some are more lax than others.

            Do Credit Unions Pay More Interest Than Banks?

            Credit unions often pay higher interest rates than larger banks because they are nonprofit institutions. However, this is not always the case. Some large banks offer promotional rates on products that may top credit union rates, while others are moving into the high-yield savings battleground in an effort to keep customer assets.

            More From GOBankingRates

            Dawn Alcott and John Csiszar contributed to the reporting for this article.

            Methodology: To discover the Best Credit Unions, GOBankingRates looked at the top credit unions in terms of total assets size based on available published data. To determine rankings, GOBankingRates looked at the following factors: (1) total assets as sourced from the NCUA; (2) number of branch locations as sourced from the NCUA; (3) minimum deposit to open a checking account; (4) checking account fee; (5) minimum balance needed in checking account to avoid fee; (6) minimum deposit to open a savings account; (7) minimum balance needed to achieve savings APY; (8) savings APY; (9) minimum to open a 12-month CD account; (10) 12-month CD APY; (11) 60-month CD APY; (12) customer service products offered (24/7 customer service and live chat with a human); (13) Bauer rating (out of 5 stars); (14) products/services offered (auto loans, mortgage loans, credit cards, investment services and insurance); and (15) the average mobile app rating between the Android and Apple stores. All factors were then scored and combined, with the lowest score being best. Factor (1) was weighted 1.5 times, factor (2) and (14) were weighted 2 times, and factor (12) was weighted 0.5 times. For all savings and checking account data, only the basic accounts/products offered at each institution were analyzed. All data is up to date as of Oct. 28, 2021. Rates and fees are subject to change.

            About the Author

            Gabrielle joined GOBankingRates in 2017 and brings with her a decade of experience in the journalism industry. Before joining the team, she was a staff writer-reporter for People Magazine and People.com. Her work has also appeared on E! Online, Us Weekly, Patch, Sweety High and Discover Los Angeles, and she has been featured on “Good Morning America” as a celebrity news expert. 

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