8 Best Credit Unions 2023

Everyone wants the best home for their money. While many banks continue to add fees and offer low interest rates in exchange for borrowing your money, credit unions offer an attractive alternative. Credit unions are not-for-profit organizations owned by their account holders. This property often results in higher interest on checking and savings accounts, and lower fees on loan products.

Like banks, there are a myriad of credit unions to choose from. Although all credit unions require membership to join, some make the barrier to entry very low and others have specific requirements. We researched interest, fees, rewards, tools and more to compile our list of the best credit unions of 2022.

Here are our picks for the best credit unions of 2022-2023:

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Best overall ranking: Pentagon Federal Credit Union

Credit unions can lend an aura of exclusivity and membership, but the Pentagon Federal Credit Union, better known as PenFed, makes it easy for almost anyone to reap the benefits by opening a savings account with a minimum of $5. Once a member, you’ll be able to use over 85,000 ATMs to access your checking accounts and impressive interest rates on savings accounts, all with low fees.

Highlights of PenFed Credit Union

  • 1.7% APY on Premium Online Savings
  • No monthly service fees on Free Chequing Accounts and Premium Online Savings Accounts
  • 2% cash back on purchases made with the Power Cash Rewards Visa card
  • Get paid two days earlier when you sign up for direct deposit
  • Up to 0.35% APY on Access America Checking Account
  • No ATM or debit card on Premium Online Savings
  • 0% APY on free checking account

Best for High Yield Checks: Lake Michigan Credit Union

The Max Checking account lives up to its name, paying up to 3% interest on the first $15,000 of your balance, with no monthly fees. To qualify for the 3% interest rate, you’ll need to meet a few requirements, including signing up for eStatements and making a minimum of 10 debit or credit card purchases. Additionally, users are reimbursed up to $10 per month for out-of-network or non-Allpoint ATMs.

Lake Michigan Credit Union Highlights

  • 3% APY on balances up to $15,000 if conditions are met
  • $0 monthly service fee
  • Large network of ATMs (more than 55,000)
  • Earn reward points on account balances and multiple accounts
  • Compatible with digital wallets
  • No interest paid on balances over $15,000
  • LMCU branches only in Michigan and Florida

Several people withdraw money from ATMs

Best for High Yield Savings: Alliant Credit Union

Whether you’re saving for a special vacation or want a place to park your money while you consider a longer-term investment, Alliant Credit Union offers the highest interest rates on a savings account: a whopping APY of 2.35% on its high rate. Savings account. Not only do they offer a great interest rate, but their savings account is free when you opt in to eStatements. Additionally, Alliant Credit Union allows members to access their savings accounts from any of their 80,000 ATMs, a rarity among credit unions.

Alliant Credit Union Highlights

  • 2.35% APY with a minimum average daily balance of $100
  • $1 monthly service fee which is waived if eStatements are selected
  • Large network of ATMs (80,000)
  • $5 minimum balance requirement
  • Savings account ATM card issued only if member does not have checking account debit card

Best for High Yield Money Market: Mountain America Credit Union

If you need the flexibility of a checking account but the stability of a savings account, Mountain America Credit Union offers the highest interest rates on a money market account of any credit union. Their tiered approach requires no minimum balance, and from the first dollar to $2,500, members will earn 0.75%, with balance tiers reaching 2.60%. Unfortunately, members must reside in Utah or surrounding states, be related to a member, or work for a licensed employer.

Mountain America Credit Union Highlights

  • Up to 2.60% APY, tiered interest rates change based on account balance
  • $0 opening balance
  • $0 minimum balance
  • Easy access to funds anytime
  • The minimum balance required to earn the highest interest rate is very high ($250,000+)
  • Limited membership area
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Best Rewards Check: First Technology Federal Credit Union

What’s better than interest? interest and benefits. At First Technology Federal Credit Union, the checking account not only earns a respectable 1.50% on the first $15,000, but the credit union also reimburses up to $15 in ATM fees per month. It refunds up to $15 cash back on credit card spending as well as a $10 streaming subscription discount. To qualify for this offer, you will need to make at least 20 debit or credit transactions totaling at least $500, have monthly ACH or direct deposit of $1,000 or more, and sign up for eStatements.

First Technology Federal Credit Union Highlights

  • 1.50% APY on balances up to $15,000
  • $0 opening balance
  • 0.5% cash back on monthly spend
  • 0.25% Cash Back on Loan and Home Equity Line of Credit payments from First Technology
  • 0.10% APY on balances over $15,000
  • Relatively small ATM network (30,000)

Closeup of a person holding a credit card and filling out a form

Top Perks: America First Credit Union

Generally, benefits and rewards are limited to credit cards. But that’s not the case for America First Credit Union. Its premium verification may cost $6 per month, but it comes with a bunch of benefits that can save you over $135 per month, including identity protection, mobile phone protection, reimbursement of ATM fees and exclusive discounts through Shopping Saver and CouponzDirect. Members can also earn up to 600 America First Rewards points which can be redeemed for merchandise, travel and even cash. Unfortunately, membership is only available for certain counties in Utah, Nevada, Oregon, Idaho, Arizona, and New Mexico.

America First Credit Union Highlights

  • 0.05% APY on balance over $500
  • $6 monthly service fee, waived with a direct deposit of $500, 20 or more transactions with a Visa credit or debit card, and an average daily balance of $1,500
  • Up to $10 out-of-network ATM fees reimbursed
  • Limited membership area
  • Relatively small ATM network (35,000)

Best Membership Fees: Bethpage Credit Union

Membership in a credit union has many advantages, but sometimes membership requirements can be a hindrance. Enter Bethpage Credit Union. Bethpage offers membership to anyone who can open a savings account with $5. Once you’re a member, it offers low-fee accounts like its no-fee interest-bearing checking account. Plus, as a member of the Cooperative Shared Branch Network, you can bank in person at over 5,000 branches.

Bethpage Credit Union Highlights

  • 0.40% APY on free checking account when conditions are met
  • Charges very little
  • $5 opening balance on savings account, $0 opening balance on checking account
  • Compatible with digital wallets and third-party payment apps
  • 0% APY on current account every month, requirements are not met
  • 0.10% APY on savings account is relatively low
  • No reimbursement of out-of-network ATM fees

Best for Mobile Banking: State Employees’ Credit Union

If you’re a North Carolina resident and state employee and enjoy banking out of pocket, State Employees’ Credit Union offers one of the most intuitive and convenient mobile apps on the market. . Use it to deposit, transfer or pay bills, or communicate with the bank in the message center. Open a savings account with just $25 and earn interest plus monthly dividends.

Government Employees Credit Union Highlights

  • Intuitive app with easy-to-use money management tools
  • 0.10% APY on savings account, 0.05% on current account
  • Minimum deposit of $25 to become a member
  • $1 monthly service fee or a $1 donation to the SECU Foundation
  • Very small network of ATMs (1,100 ATMs)
  • No reimbursement of out-of-network ATM fees
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How we chose the best banks of 2022-2023

To determine our list of the best banks for 2022-2023, Money staff rated 50 of the largest retail banks and credit unions, ranked by assets, and 15 of the most popular online banks. We then compared opening balance requirements, interest paid, fees, and features to determine our top picks. You can read our complete methodology here.

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Leslie M. Gill