Consumers Credit Union Review 2022: High Rates and Convenience

GOBankingRates Score

4.5
Quick Take: Consumers Credit Union's best feature is probably its high APY Rewards Checking. It also has an attractive savings account, but both accounts have some minimum requirements. Although CCU is based in Illinois, membership is open to anyone, and it offers several ways to complete CCU banking transactions without visiting a branch.
  • Savings and CD Rates
    4.1
  • Checking
    5.0
  • Banking Experience
    4.8
  • Overdraft Fees
    4.2
How did we calculate this?

Pros

  • Rewards Checking has a very high APY
  • Membership is open to anyone who pays a one-time non-refundable $5 membership fee
  • Members have several different options for completing banking transactions without visiting a CCU branch

Cons

  • Minimum requirements must be met to get the best checking and savings APYs
  • CD rates aren't as impressive
  • Overdraft fees can be hefty for customers who do not have a linked account to cover overdrafts

About Consumers Credit Union

Consumers Credit Union was founded in 1930. Today, it has more than 178,000 members and more than $2.8 billion in assets. CCU offers a wide range of banking products, including checking, savings, CDs, loans, credit cards and IRAs. It is federally insured by the National Credit Union Association. While CCU only has physical branches in Illinois, anyone can join for a $5 membership fee.

Consumers Credit Union Features

GOBankingRates gave Consumers Credit Union an overall score of 4.4 based on the following four features.

Savings and CD Rates

CCU’s Membership Share savings account can be opened with a $5 minimum deposit and pays a % APY. CCU also offers a Smart Saver account that pays a 0% APY if minimum requirements are met each month. This account has a minimum $50 deposit requirement, and a maximum of $1,000 can be deposited each month. Smart Saver account holders who do not meet minimum requirements earn a % APY.

CCU’s minimum deposit for all regular certificates is $250, and maturity dates range from 91 days to five years. Certificate dividends compound daily. Rates vary from % APY for a 91-day certificate to 0% APY for a 22-month certificate. CCU also offers jumbo and IRA certificates.

Checking

Checking accounts don’t get much better than CCUs Rewards Checking. Account holders who meet minimum requirements can earn a % to % APY on balances up to $10,000, with lower rates over $10,000. This is in addition to no maintenance fees and reimbursement of all ATM fees. CCU also offers free non-interest bearing checking with no minimum requirements. 

Banking Experience

CCU offers mobile banking, online banking, text banking and access to more than 30,000 ATMs for members. 

Members who are not located in the Illinois area can use the CU Service Centers® Network if they need to visit a physical credit union location. These branches are part of a shared branching network that provides services to members of all credit unions in the network, including CCU.

Live chat is available to online banking customers 24 hours per day, every day of the week. Customers can also receive help by phone Monday through Saturday.

Overdraft Fees

Account holders who link another eligible deposit account to their checking account get up to six free transfers a month from the linked account to cover overdrafts. Then a $30 fee will be assessed for each overdraft.

Account holders who do not have a linked deposit account may be eligible for Courtesy Pay. CCU will cover overdrafts up to an approved amount for Courtesy Pay customers, but a $30 fee for each overdraft will apply.

Consumers Credit Union vs. Competitors

For those considering a credit union membership, here’s how Consumers Credit Union compares to a few of its competitors.

Consumers Credit Union vs. Alliant Credit Union

Alliant Credit Union only pays a % APY on its High-Rate Checking account, but the account does not have any minimum requirements or fees. CCU’s free checking is not an interest-bearing account, and the Rewards Checking has direct deposit and purchase requirements — even though CCU has a higher APY, Alliant’s checking account is attractive for its simplicity. 

Consumers Credit Union vs. Eastman Credit Union

Eastman Credit Union offers a 0% APY on its savings account for an account balance greater than $5 and has no other minimum requirements. While CCU does offer a higher APY for its Smart Saver account, minimum requirements must be met, or account holders earn a much lower APY. CCU’s Member Share savings account only pays a % APY.

Consumers Credit Union vs. Ascend Credit Union

Ascend Credit Union offers certificate rates up to % APY, with minimum deposits starting at $500 and some requiring $1,000. A CCU certificate can be opened with a $250 minimum deposit, but its highest rate is only a 0% APY.

Final Take

Those who can meet the minimum requirements for a Consumers Credit Union Rewards Checking or a Smart Saver account can earn high returns on their money. However, account holders should only keep up to the balance limits in these accounts since any funds over the balance limits do not earn the higher APY.

Those who can’t meet minimum requirements might benefit more from opening accounts at other credit unions that offer higher-than-average APYs without minimum requirements.

FAQ

Here are some answers to commonly asked questions about credit unions.
  • Is Consumers Credit Union a real bank?
    • Consumers Credit Union is a financial institution that offers the same services as a bank. It has been around since 1930 and has more than 178,000 members and more than $2.8 billion in assets. It is federally insured by the National Credit Union Association.
  • What is the most popular credit union?
    • When it comes to lists of best credit unions, Navy Federal Credit Union is often at the top. However, its membership isn't open to everyone. Alliant Credit Union also often makes the "best of" lists, and membership is open to anyone who makes a $5 donation to a qualifying nonprofit.
  • Is Consumers Credit Union federally insured?
    • Consumers Credit Union is federally insured by the National Credit Union Association. The NCUA is an independent U.S. government agency that regulates, charters and supervises federal credit unions. The National Credit Union Share Insurance Fund insures the accounts in all federal credit unions and most state-chartered credit unions.
  • Does the consumer get a say in how credit unions are run?
    • Credit union members do not typically get a direct say in how a credit union is run. Depending on the credit union, members may vote on and elect those appointed to the Board of Directors, who make decisions on the members' behalf.

Rates are subject to change; unless otherwise noted, rates are updated periodically. All other information on accounts is accurate as of May 24, 2022.

Editorial Note: This content is not provided by Consumers Credit Union. Any opinions, analyses, reviews, ratings or recommendations expressed in this article are those of the author alone and have not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by Consumers Credit Union.

Our in-house research team and on-site financial experts work together to create content that’s accurate, impartial, and up to date. We fact-check every single statistic, quote and fact using trusted primary resources to make sure the information we provide is correct. You can learn more about GOBankingRates’ processes and standards in our editorial policy.

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About the Author

Andrea Norris has been in the web publishing business for the past 15 years both as a content contributor and a copy editor specializing in personal finance, frugal living, home and auto topics. She writes both short and long-form content and is well-practiced in SEO keyword research and writing.

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