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 BurnetteMarch 21, 2019

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Overall bank rating

Consumers Credit Union

at Consumers Credit Union,

Federally insured by the NCUA

  • Savings

    Savings

  • Checking

    Checking

  • CD rates

    CD rates

  • Banking experience

    Banking experience

  • Overdraft fees

    Overdraft fees

4.0

NerdWallet rating 

The bottom line: Consumers Credit Union’s biggest appeal is its checking account, thanks to a rate that can go up to 4.09% APY. But you have to meet transaction requirements to get the best yields. Savings rates are much lower.

Pros

  • Free Rewards checking earns a high rate.

  • Large free ATM network.

  • Easy to join.

Cons

  • Low savings account interest rate.

Full review

Consumers Credit Union Savings Account

Consumers Credit Union Savings Account

3.0

NerdWallet rating 
APY

0.05%

With $5 minimum balance

All Consumers Credit Union members must open a share savings account to establish membership. There's no monthly fee and also no ongoing minimum balance requirements, and you need just $5 to open an account. The savings account doesn’t earn much: 0.05%. That’s less than the national average and way below what online banks offer.

Consumers Credit Union Free Rewards Checking

at Consumers Credit Union,

Federally insured by the NCUA

at Consumers Credit Union,

Federally insured by the NCUA

Monthly Fee

$0

APY

4.09%

With $0 minimum balance

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

  • Earn 2.09% 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. For the month of May 2020, the minimum number of debit card purchases required has dropped from 12 to 6.

  • Earn 3.09% APY on up to $10,000 by making $500 in Consumers Credit Union credit card purchases monthly plus all the previous requirements.

  • Earn 4.09% APY on up to $10,000 by making an additional $500 in credit card purchases monthly plus all the previous requirements.

For accounts with more than $10,000 you earn 0.10% or 0.20% APY, depending on the amount. Alternatively, 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 non-network ATM use when you meet the monthly rewards requirements.

In addition to earning interest, it is a free checking account.

Consumers Credit Union CD

Consumers Credit Union CD

3.0

NerdWallet rating 
1-year APY

0.50%

5-year APY

1.00%

Minimum Deposit

$250

Rates for share certificates — the credit union version of CDs — are not the highest around. (See our picks for the best CD rates.) However, you need only $250 to open one. Term lengths go up to five years.

Banking experience

4.0

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 1,800 branches (along with the 30,000 surcharge-free ATMs).

Representatives are available during business hours, which includes weekdays and Saturday mornings.

User reviews suggest the credit union’s banking app is not easy to use and sometimes has sign-in glitches.

Overdraft fees

2.5

NerdWallet rating 

An overdraft costs $30 per transaction, which is a little less than the $35 fee larger banks often charge.

Consumers Credit Union does not put a daily cap on how many overdraft fees you can be charged. That means if you have four negative transactions in a single day, you’d face fees of $120.

You can link a Consumers savings account to your checking to avoid an overdraft, but it costs $10 per transfer.

Consumers Credit Union Savings Account

Consumers Credit Union Savings Account

3.0

NerdWallet rating 
APY

0.05%

With $5 minimum balance

All Consumers Credit Union members must open a share savings account to establish membership. There's no monthly fee and also no ongoing minimum balance requirements, and you need just $5 to open an account. The savings account doesn’t earn much: 0.05%. That’s less than the national average and way below what online banks offer.

RATING 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, 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.