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Golden 1 Credit Union Review: Checking, Savings and CDs

Oct. 25, 2019
Banking, Banks & Credit Unions, Checking Accounts, Savings Accounts
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NerdWallet rating: 4.0/5.0

Where Golden 1 shines:

  • Easy-to-meet membership requirements for Californians: live or work in the state.
  • No monthly fees for basic accounts.
  • $0 required to open a basic checking account; $1 required for basic savings.

Where Golden 1 falls short:

  • Low or no interest on basic accounts.
  • Overdraft fees charged up to six times per day.

Where Golden 1 shines:

  • Easy-to-meet membership requirements for Californians: live or work in the state.
  • No monthly fees for basic accounts.
  • $0 required to open a basic checking account; $1 required for basic savings.

Where Golden 1 falls short:

  • Low or no interest on basic accounts.
  • Overdraft fees charged up to six times per day.

The bottom line

If you live in California, Golden 1 Credit Union may shine as a solid place to do your banking. In addition to having branches across the state, its extensive Co-op ATM and shared branching networks and extended phone service hours make it easy to get help even out of state.

You’ll see your money grow more quickly at competitors that offer higher interest rates (be sure to explore other savings account options as well as higher CD rates), but Golden 1 doesn’t charge monthly fees on basic accounts, and all accounts have low or no minimum opening deposits. Just watch out for overdraft fees — or sign up for free overdraft protection transfers to save money.

Best if: You’re a Californian who wants a no-frills, convenient place to park your money.

» Want more options? See NerdWallet’s analysis of the best credit unions.


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.

Ratings are rounded to the nearest half-star.

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