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Alaska USA Credit Union Review: Checking, Savings and CDs

Banking, Banks & Credit Unions
alaska USA review

Alaska USA Credit Union
NerdWallet’s rating: 4.0 / 5.0

4.0 stars out of 5

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at Alaska USA Federal Credit Union
Alaska USA Federal Credit Union isn’t just for Alaska residents. This credit union can also save you money in fees if you live in Washington, California’s San Bernardino County and Arizona’s Maricopa County.

With shared branching, low fees and some of the highest CD rates around, Alaska USA makes for a convenient banking experience that deserves a closer look.  

The bottom line:

  • A low-fee checking account
  • Low savings account rates and high CD rates
  • A low $5 deposit to establish membership
Our Ratings
Checking4.0 stars out of 5
Savings3.5 stars out of 5
Certificates of deposit (CDs)5 stars out of 5
Customer experience4.0 stars out of 5
Overdraft fees3.0 stars out of 5
Overall4.0 stars out of 5

Read on for more information about Alaska USA’s checking and savings products, CDs, customer experience and fees.

» MORE: NerdWallet’s best credit unions

Checking accounts

4.0 stars out of 5
4.0 / 5.0

The low monthly fee in the Convenience Checking account is less than half of those charged at big banks. Members can also access their account outside of Alaska USA’s 85 branch locations via the shared branch network.

ProsCons
  • A $5 monthly fee is waived with direct deposit.
  • A $5 minimum balance is required to maintain membership.
  • No out-of-network ATM fees charged by Alaska USA, but ATM owner fees may apply.
  • This credit union participates in shared branching.
  • Free access to 55,000 ATMs.
  • No interest offered for the checking account.
Account reviewed for rating: Alaska USA Convenience Checking

» MORE: Best online checking accounts

Savings account

3.5 stars out of 5
3.5 / 5.0

A $5 minimum balance maintains membership at Alaska USA and a $50 minimum balance waives the $5 quarterly fee on the Share Savings account. For members under age 26, the quarterly fee is waived with a balance of $5.

Rates are a bit higher than those offered at big banks, but you can find better annual percentage yields of 1% or higher at online-only banks and other credit unions.

ProsCons
  • A $5 quarterly fee is waived with a $50 minimum balance requirement or balances in other share accounts or loans.
  • A $5 minimum balance requirement to maintain membership.
  • A minimum opening deposit requirement of $5.
  • A low rate of 0.10% APY.
Account reviewed for rating: Alaska USA Share Savings

» MORE: NerdWallet’s top high-yield savings accounts

Certificates of deposit

5.0 stars out of 5
5.0 / 5.0
The certificate accounts at Alaska USA offer some of the highest APYs among credit unions. You’re locking up your money for a fixed term, so choose an Alaska USA certificate account that offers a rate higher than 1%. Otherwise, you could maintain access to your money in a high-yield savings account elsewhere.

ProsCons
  • Low minimum opening deposit of $500.
  • Several CD options to choose from ranging between 3 months and 5 years.
  • 2-year CD: 1.30% APY.
  • 3-year CD: 1.60% APY.
  • 5-year CD: 2.00% APY.
  • Matured CDs renew automatically after 7 days.
  • Charges early withdrawal penalties.
Account reviewed for rating: Alaska USA Certificate Account

Customer experience

4.0 stars out of 5
4.0 / 5.0

Alaska USA offers customer service around the clock. You can reach a representative by mail, email or 24 hours a day by phone.

The credit union’s app offers functions such as remote check deposit, money transfers, online bill payments and Apple Pay.

Members can also take advantage of shared branching when they’re away from home. Services at shared branches include deposits, withdrawals, transfers, money orders and loan payments.

Overdraft fees

3.0 stars out of 5
3.0 / 5.0
Alaska USA offers a “courtesy pay” program for overdrafts on purchases of $5 or more. You can be charged multiple fees between $5 and $20 in one day, depending on the amount of the overdraft. For overdrafts over $10, setting up overdraft transfers will cost less at $5 per transfer.

Low fees, high CD rates

Alaska+USA+Federal+Credit+Union
Learn more
at Alaska USA Federal Credit Union
Alaska USA’s low fees for checking and savings are impressive. Although savings account rates are low, they are still better than those offered at big banks.

If you value great CD rates, decent banking technology and in-person customer service, this credit union could be a good match.

Melissa Lambarena is a staff writer at NerdWallet, a personal finance website. Email: mlambarena@nerdwallet.com. Twitter: @LissaLambarena.


Ratings methodology

NerdWallet’s overall ratings for banks and credit unions are weighted averages of several categories: checking, savings, certificates of deposit or credit union share certificates, customer experience and overdraft fees.

Factors we consider, depending on the category, include rates and fees, ATM and branch access, account features and limits, user-facing technology, customer service and innovation.

The stars represent ratings from poor (one star) to excellent (five stars). Ratings are rounded to the nearest half-star.