University Credit Union vs. Bank - Which is Better for Students?

University of Maryland, College Park Edition

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NerdWallet pits your university credit union against the big bank on campus and tells you who comes out on top.
Fees
Accessibility and Convenience
Bonus Perks
State Employees Credit Union
Capital One

Overall Winner: State Employees Credit Union wins this match against Capital One by offering free interest bearing checking. Although SECU's main branch is a mile and a half away, they remain accessible to students with an ATM in the Stamp. Terps should check out this great student-friendly credit union.

Round 1: Fees

State Employees Credit Union: Students' Choice CheckingCapital One: Student Checking
Monthly Fee$0$0
Fee for Out-of-Network ATM Withdrawal$0$2
Overdraft Fee$30$35
Category Winner

Round 1 Winner: SECU easily wins this round with lower fees and completely free checking. Can Capital One make a comeback?

Round 2: Accessibility and Convenience

State Employees Credit Union: Students' Choice CheckingCapital One: Student Checking
Branch LocationOff-campusOn-campus
Number of ATMs Within 1 Mile of Campus27
Category Winner

Round 2 Winner: Capital One wins for accessibility with more on-campus ATMs and a branch in the Stamp. SECU's branch is about a mile and a half away from campus. Both financial institutions have ATMs in the Stamp. The credit union is a member of the Allpoint network, so members can use any Allpoint ATM for no fee.

Round 3: Bonus Perks

State Employees Credit Union: Students' Choice CheckingCapital One: Student Checking
Bonuses
  • This account earns interest
  • Financial literacy programs
None
Category Winner

Round 3 Winner: SECU beats Capital One in this round with a completely free interest-bearing account for students.

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