Consumers Credit Union Review: Checking, Savings and CDs

Consumers Credit Union is best if you're looking for a free rewards checking account that pays high rates when you meet certain requirements.
Margarette Burnette
By Margarette Burnette 
Edited by Sara Clarke

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Consumers Credit Union
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at Consumers Credit Union, Federally insured by NCUA

  • Checking
  • Savings
  • Certificates of deposit
  • Customer experience
  • Overdraft fees

Overall institution rating


NerdWallet rating 
The bottom line:

Consumers Credit Union’s biggest appeal is its checking account, thanks to a rate that can go up to 5.00% annual percentage yield. You have to meet transaction requirements to get the best yields, and savings rates are much lower.

Best for: Those who want to maximize interest and earn ATM fee refunds in a rewards checking account and who are unlikely to overdraft.


  • No monthly fees.
  • Anyone can become a member.
  • Large, free, nationwide ATM network.
  • Participates in shared branching with other credit unions.
  • Low minimum opening deposits.


  • Expensive overdraft fee.
  • Low rates on savings accounts and share certificates.
  • Requirements must be met to earn strong checking rate.

Full review


Consumers Credit Union Free Rewards Checking


Federally insured by NCUA


 NerdWallet rating 
Monthly fee
With $0 min. balance for APY
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at Consumers Credit Union

Consumers Credit Union provides one of the best interest checking accounts available. Here are the requirements for each tier:

  • Earn 3.00% APY on up to $10,000 by making at least 12 monthly debit card purchases, having electronic transactions (direct deposit, ACH transfer or mobile check deposit) of at least $500 per month and receiving e-statements.

  • Earn 4.00% APY on up to $10,000 by making $500 in Consumers Credit Union credit card purchases monthly plus all the previous requirements.

  • Earn 5.00% APY on up to $10,000 by making an additional $500 in credit card purchases monthly (for a total of $1,000), plus all the previous requirements.

Accounts with more than $10,000 earn 0.10% or 0.20% APY, depending on the balance. If you don’t complete the initial requirements in any month, you earn 0.01% APY on all balances.

There are over 30,000 free ATMs available. In addition, the credit union refunds fees charged for using non-network ATMs when you meet the monthly rewards requirements.

On top of earning interest, it is a free checking account.


Consumers Credit Union Savings Account
Consumers Credit Union Savings Account


Federally insured by NCUA


 NerdWallet rating 
With $5 min. balance for APY

All Consumers Credit Union members must open a share savings account to establish membership. There's no monthly fee and a low minimum balance requirement of $5 to open an account and maintain membership. The savings account doesn’t earn much: 0.03% APY. That’s less than the national average and far below what many online banks offer.

Certificates of deposit

Consumers Credit Union CD
Consumers Credit Union CD


Federally insured by NCUA


 NerdWallet rating 
1-year APY
3-year APY
5-year APY
Minimum deposit

Rates for share certificates — the credit union version of CDs — aren’t impressive, and you can find far higher yields at other credit unions and online banks. (See our picks for the best CD rates.) The minimum opening deposit is $250, and standard term lengths range from six months to five years.

Customer experience


NerdWallet rating 

The credit union has Chicago-area branches, but you don’t need to live in the area to become a member. To be eligible to apply, you have to join its sponsoring organization, the Consumers Cooperative Association, for $5.

Consumers Credit Union participates in a national shared network of over 5,000 branches (along with the 30,000 surcharge-free ATMs).

Representatives are available by phone during business hours on weekdays and on Saturdays until 2 p.m. CT.

The credit union’s banking app ratings are above average.

Overdraft fees


NerdWallet rating 

An overdraft costs $30 per transaction, which is a little less than the $35 fee larger banks often charge. Consumers Credit Union can charge the overdraft fee up to four times per day, for a total of $120.

As of March 2022, the credit union stopped charging an extended overdraft fee, which was charged if an account stayed overdrawn for six or more days in a row.

There are also free overdraft transfers from a Consumers savings account to a checking account to avoid an overdraft.


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, banking 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.