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Published June 16, 2022

Northern Credit Union Review

Northern Credit Union is an Ontario-based financial co-operative with an array of savings and chequing accounts, loan products and investment vehicles.

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Northern Credit Union at a glance

Northern Credit Union was founded in 1957 and currently manages $1.6 billion in assets.

  • Northern Credit Union account options
    Savings
    Chequing
    Visa credit cards
    Investing
  • Other Northern Credit Union services
    Mortgages
    Loans and lines of credit
    Loan protection
    Business accounts and financing

Northern Credit Union overview

With 70,000 members in 28 communities, Northern Credit Union is the largest credit union in Northern Ontario. Northern offers many of the same products and services you’d find at a traditional bank, including savings accounts, chequing accounts, mortgages and investment products. Members of Northern Credit Union enjoy competitive interest rates on both savings accounts and loan products, and have the ability to vote on matters that affect the institution.

Online banking capabilities at Northern Credit Union

Getting the most out of a Northern Credit Union membership generally means living close to one of its service areas, but members can also do their banking remotely through Northern’s website (www.northerncu.com) and its mobile banking app. Members can open accounts, pay bills, transfer money and deposit cheques online.

Is my money safe at Northern Credit Union?

Northern Credit Union insures member deposits in the event the institution suddenly becomes insolvent. Deposit insurance coverage is provided through the Financial Services Regulatory Authority of Ontario’s Deposit Insurance Reserve Fund.

Non-registered deposits, like savings and chequing accounts, are insured to a maximum of $250,000. Registered accounts such as registered retirement savings plans (RRSPs) and tax-free savings accounts (TFSAs) have unlimited coverage.

Northern Credit Union

Find the best Northern Credit Union services to meet your needs

Northern Credit Union account types

Northern Credit Union offers a full menu of accounts for members to choose from.

 Northern Credit Union savings accounts

  • Northern Superior Savings account: no monthly fee, no minimum balance required and the interest rate increases along with the account balance.
  • Northern Lite Savings account: similar to Northern Superior, without free in-branch or self-serve transactions.

Northern Credit Union chequing accounts

  • Northern Proud Unlimited Chequing: unlimited transactions for a fee that ranges from $10.50 a month to $18.95, depending on the member’s age.
  • Northern Complete Chequing: 60 transactions for a cost of either $13.95 or $4.50, depending on the member’s age.
  • Northern Elite Online Chequing: unlimited self-serve transactions and 10 free Interac e-transfers for either $9.95 or $5.50 per month
  • Northern Strong Chequing: 12 free in-branch or self-serve transactions for $4.00 per month
  • Northern Lite Chequing: $1.25 per transaction, $2.00 per Interac e-transfer; no monthly fee
  • Northern US Dollar Chequing: no monthly fee; $1.25 USD for in-branch withdrawals and transfers, cleared cheques and pre-authorized debits.

Northern Credit Union credit card accounts

Northern offers a variety of low rate, no-fee and travel Visa credit cards, including:

  • Visa Infinite.
  • Travel Rewards Gold Visa.
  • US Dollar Visa.
  • Centra Gold Visa.
  • Cash Back Visa.
  • Visa Classic.

Northern Credit Union investing accounts

Other Northern Credit Union services

Northern Credit Union fees

Banking fees can vary based on the accounts you have and how you use them. Here are some of the common fees you may encounter using Northern’s financial products and services:

  • Non-sufficient funds: $55
  • Overdraft (single use): $5
  • ATM withdrawals outside network: $1.75-$3
  • Dormant account monitoring fee: $6 per month
  • Sending wire transfers: $30-$40
  • RSP, TFSA or RIF transfer to another institution: $7

Who Northern Credit Union is best for:

Ontarians looking for typical banking products and competitive interest rates who don’t mind paying fees.

Northern Credit Union offers a range of services for individuals and businesses, including a solid range of investment accounts. Members are likely to get more out of dealing with Northern if they live close to a branch, where they can get personalized advice and take full advantage of the mortgage and business services on offer.

Pros and Cons of Northern Credit Union

There’s plenty to like about XYZ Bank, but no bank or credit union is without its drawbacks. Here’s what to consider before you open an account.

Pros of Northern Credit Union

  • Higher interest rates on loans and savings products than traditional banks.
  • Variety of chequing accounts and investment products.
  • Some discounted monthly fees for students and members aged 59 and up.

Cons of Northern Credit Union

  • Lower interest rates on loan and savings products than some online-only banks.
  • Certain chequing accounts charge numerous transaction and ATM fees.
  • Locations tend to be in smaller communities north of the Greater Toronto Area, which could make getting in-person service a hassle.
  • Some chequing accounts charge $2 per Interac e-transfer.

How Northern Credit Union compares to other credit unions

 Northern Credit UnionAccess Credit UnionAffinity Credit Union
Primary region of serviceNorthern OntarioManitobaSaskatchewan
Number of branches3126 More than 50
Mobile app?YesYesYes
Are deposits insured?Yes, by the Financial Services Regulatory Authority of Ontario’s Deposit Insurance Reserve Fund.Yes, by the Deposit Guarantee Corporation of Manitoba.Yes, by the Credit Union Deposit Guarantee Corporation.

Northern Credit Union frequently asked questions

    • Can anyone become a member of Northern Credit Union?

      You don’t have to be a resident of Ontario to become a member at Northern Credit Union, but living close to its service areas could make being a member more convenient and rewarding.

    • Are credit unions better than banks?

      Most credit unions provide the same services offered by traditional banks, but offer their members higher interest rates on savings products and lower rates on loans and mortgages.

Dive Even Deeper

How to Open a Bank Account

You can open an account at a Canadian bank or credit union in person or online. You need to be aged 17 or older and have two forms of identification.

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