Credit unions often outpace banking competitors with lower interest rates and generous perks — and credit union credit cards are no different. You can apply for a credit card online and choose from several credit card options that offer plenty of great features.
Because credit unions pass some of their profits to their customers, you can look forward to lower rates and fees for many online banking and regular services. If you belong to a credit union already — or if you’re planning to join a credit union — take advantage of everything it has to offer, including credit cards.
Best Credit Union Credit Cards
Not all credit union credit cards are created equally. We’ve rounded up some of the best options on the market to help you in your search for the right card.
Here’s a quick guide:
|State Department Federal Credit Union Visa Platinum||9.99% to 17.99%||-1 Flexpoint for every $1 spent|
|PenFed’s Platinum Rewards Visa Signature Card||16.49% to 17.99%||-5x points for gas and EV charging stations
-3x points for grocery and restaurants
-1x points on all other purchases
|Navy Federal’s cashRewards Credit Card||-Earn 1.75% cash back on all purchases|
|Alliant Credit Union Visa Signature Card||13.74% to 23.74%||-Earn 2.5% cash back on first $10,000 in purchases per billing cycle
-Earn 1.5% cash back on all other purchases
|GTE Financial Credit Union GTE Go Premier Mastecard||14.99% to 16.99%||-Earn 10,000 points when you spend $3,000 in the first three months|
State Department Federal Credit Union Visa Platinum
The State Department Federal Credit Union Visa Platinum Card offers a Flexpoints Rewards program that gives you one Flexpoint for every dollar you spend and five when you use bill pay. Rates range from 9.99% to 17.99% APR, and you’ll enjoy perks like no balance transfer or annual card fees. As a cardholder, you can also get low rates on insurance products.
- Rewards: Earn 1 FlexPoint for every dollar you spend. You can redeem these points for gift cards, travel, merchandise, cash back, charity donations, and more.
- Purchase APR: 9.99% to 17.99%
- Benefits: Contactless payment options; mobile wallet-friendly for Apple Pay, Samsung Pay, and Google Pay; no balance transfer fee, no foreign transaction fee.
- Credit union membership requirements: Must be an employee or on-site contractor of the Department of State, a family member of an employee, a member of a partner organization or a member of the American Consumer Council.
- Annual fee: $0
PenFed’s Platinum Rewards Visa Signature Card
You’ll be automatically enrolled in the PenFed Platinum Rewards program with this card, and earn up to five points at the gas pump, three points at supermarkets, and one point on everything else. You won’t pay an annual fee or foreign transaction fees, and rates range from 16.49% to 17.99% APR for purchases. You’ll earn 15,000 bonus points after you spend $1,500 in the first 90 days.
- Rewards: Earn 5x points on gas and EV charging stations, earn 3x points at supermarkets, restaurants, TV, radio, and streaming services, and earn 1x points on all other purchases. Plus, you get 15,000 bonus points for spending $1,500 in the first 90 days.
- Purchase APR: 16.49% to 17.99%
- Benefits: No foreign transaction fee; redeem your rewards for gift cards, travel, charity, experiences, and merchandise; introductory balance transfer offer of 0% APR for 12 months; access membership discounts at some stores.
- Credit union membership requirements: PenFed membership is open to everyone.
- Annual fee: $0
Navy Federal’s cashRewards Credit Card
Earn 1.75% cash back on purchases with the Navy Federal Credit Union cashRewards Credit Card. All cardholders are also eligible for Visa Signature Perks which include mobile card and wallet services, chip technology and fraud monitoring services.
There’s no limit on the rewards you can earn and they never expire. In addition, you won’t have to worry about any annual, balance transfer, or foreign transaction fees and you might be able to save money with low purchase and balance transfer rates that range from .
- Rewards: Earn 1.75% cash back on all purchases; earn a $100 cash back bonus if you spend $2,000 within 90 days of account opening.
- Purchase APR: APR
- Benefits: Introductory purchase APR of 1.99% for six months; no annual fee; no balance transfer fee; no foreign transaction fee; no cash advance fees
- Credit union membership requirements: You, or a member of your family or household, must have a tie to the armed forces, Department of Defense, or the National Guard. If you aren’t sure whether your military connection qualified, reach out to the credit union for clarification.
- Annual fee: $0
Alliant Credit Union Visa Signature Card
Take advantage of lucrative cash back rewards opportunities through this credit card. You can earn up to 2.5% cash back on your first $10,000 in purchases per billing cycle and 1.5% cash back on purchases over $10,000 per billing cycle. But to tap into these rewards, you’ll also need to open an Alliant High-Rate checking account. Without this separate account, you’ll still earn 1.5% cash back on your purchases.
Importantly, the cash back must be used within five years of earning it. And you’ll need to accumulate at least $50 of cash back to redeem it. It can be redeemed by depositing it into a connected checking or savings account.
- Rewards: Earn up to 2.5% cash back on up to $10,000 in purchases.
- Purchase APR: 13.74% to 23.74%
- Benefits: No foreign transaction fee; personal identity theft protection; purchase security; travel accident insurance; auto rental collision damage waiver; roadside dispatch; extended warranty protection
- Credit union membership requirements: Must be a current or retired employee of one of the many organizations and businesses that partner with Alliant, live near one of the communities near Alliant’s Chicago headquarters, or be a member of Foster Care to Success.
- Annual fee: $0
GTE Financial Credit Union GTE Go Premier Mastercard
You can earn double and triple rewards points in several categories with the GTE Financial Credit Union GTE Go Premier Mastercard card. If you spend $3,000 within the first three months you’ll earn 10,000 points, which are worth $100.
Your rewards can add up quickly because you’ll earn triple points on gas, travel, and home improvement store shopping. You’ll earn double points on everyday expenses, including groceries and recurring bill payments. Plus, the card is free to use.
- Rewards: Earn 3x points on gas, travel, and restaurants; earn 2x points on groceries and home improvement stores; earn 1x points on all other purchases.
- Purchase APR: 14.99% to 16.99% APR
- Benefits: Credit limits up to $30,000; travel assistance; trip cancellation and interruption insurance; auto rental collision waiver; and Boingo Wi-Fi. Plus, you can design how your card looks.
- Credit union membership requirements: Membership is open to everyone.
- Annual fee: $0
What To Consider When Selecting the Best Credit Union Credit Card
As you explore your options, you’ll quickly discover there is a wide range of possibilities. With such a wide selection, you can sort through your options based on what credit unions will offer you membership. Plus, you can weed out credit card options that don’t line up with your credit score. Although credit unions might have more lenient requirements, some will expect a top-notch credit score for a very attractive rewards card.
Many credit unions offer competitive credit cards that beat out some bank credit card offers. But that doesn’t mean all bank credit cards are bad. In fact, some offer more premium rewards opportunities that you might not find from a credit union.
Ultimately, choosing the right credit card boils down to your needs. If you can find a credit union credit card that checks all of your boxes, then move forward with your application. But if the credit union offerings don’t align with your financial goals, then check out your other credit card options.
If you want to work with a credit union, start by narrowing down your choices based on membership requirements. Many credit unions have specific requirements for their members. If you don’t work for the right employer, some of the credit cards above might be out of reach. But luckily, there is no shortage of credit card options out there.
Before you dive too deeply into the weeds, take a minute to prioritize what you want in a credit card. Whether you want cash back opportunities or the lowest possible APR, determine what you need before exploring all of the possibilities.
Rates are subject to change; unless otherwise noted, rates are updated periodically. All other information on accounts is accurate as of Oct. 5, 2022.