In the past couple of months, banks have been drawing negative attention over the debit card fees they instituted to cover the billions in lost revenue due to government regulations. Even though a couple of weeks ago, banks such as Bank of America dissolved this debit card fee, they are still seeing a mass-exodus of customers. In the past, consumers remained with their banks because of the hassle of moving from one to another, however since most consumers are looking for the best deal, this is not the case anymore.
Customers fed-up with the way banks are treating them are flocking to credit unions. Membership grew at four out of five credit unions last month, according to Credit Union National Association, and in many cases the number of new accounts opened was more than 50 percent higher than the typical monthly amount. There are almost 7,800 credit unions in the United States and usually offer better rates than banks. Credit unions are chartered as not-for-profit cooperatives owned by their members. Like other financial institutions, they are regulated and deposits of up to $250,000 are federally insured.
Since September 29, credit unions pulled in some 650,000 new customers and deposits surged $4.5 billion, according to a survey released Thursday of 5,000 credit unions by the Credit Union National Association. More than likely this trend will continue.
We are seeing more credit unions starting to advertise online. Pentagon Federal Credit Union, the third largest credit union, started advertising their credit cards last year. You can find the PenFed Premium Travel Rewards American Express, the PenFed Promise Visa, and the PenFed Visa Platinum on many credit card sites. These cards offer competitive rewards and great APR’s. Other credit unions that offer good credit cards are USAA and Navy Federal CU.
Although you have to be a member to get these great offers, there are many ways to becoming a member. For PenFed, check you eligibility here. For other credit unions, give them a call. Sometimes it’s as easy as opening a $5 checking account or becoming a member of an association.