Golden 1 Credit Union Review: Checking, Savings and Certificates

Golden 1 offers shared branches and a large network of free ATMs, but you’ll find higher interest rates elsewhere.
Ruth Sarreal
By Ruth Sarreal 
Edited by Yuliya Goldshteyn

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Golden 1 Credit Union
  • Certificates of deposit

Overall institution rating


NerdWallet rating 
The bottom line:

If you live in California, Golden 1 Credit Union may shine as a solid place to do your banking. The credit union offers branches across the state and participates in a network of shared branches so members can visit and make transactions at other credit unions’ branches. Golden 1 also provides free ATM use as part of the extensive Co-op network. Extended phone service hours make it easy to get help even when you’re out of state.

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

Best for: Californians who are interested in an in-person banking experience, don’t care about maximizing interest and are unlikely to overdraft.


  • No monthly fees on some checking and savings accounts.
  • Large, free, nationwide ATM network.
  • Low minimum opening deposits on savings accounts and certificates.


  • Low rates on some savings accounts.
  • Expensive overdraft fee.
  • Limited membership.

Full review

Certificates of deposit

Golden 1 Credit Union Certificate
Golden 1 Credit Union Certificate


Federally insured by NCUA


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

Golden 1’s standard certificates have relatively average yields, not the worst or the best rates. The minimum opening requirement is $500, and there are several rate tiers in which reaching a higher minimum, such as $100,000, can mean slightly higher rates. Terms range from three months to five years.


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.