Overall bank rating
The bottom line:
Lake Michigan Credit Union is among the 20 largest credit unions nationwide and boasts solid rates and low to no monthly fees across its checking and savings accounts and certificates of deposit. The credit union’s most nationally competitive offering is its Max Checking account, which has a rate of 3.00% annual percentage yield on balances up to $15,000, provided certain conditions are met. But the overdraft fee is $30 and there’s no limit to the number of times the bank can charge it.
LMCU’s membership requirements aren’t as restrictive as those at many credit unions. Most people can apply for membership by contributing $5 to a nonprofit organization that LMCU supports — and residents of Florida and parts of Michigan can join without that contribution. Membership is available to residents in all states except California. New members must open and maintain a Member Savings account with at least $5. The credit union offers free access to a nationwide ATM network, but branch access is limited to two states, Michigan and Florida.
Best for: Savers who want a high-interest checking account, are unlikely to overdraw funds, and generally manage their banking online.
- Max Checking’s highly competitive rate on balances of up to $15,000 (no interest above that) can mean up to $450 in interest per year.
- Strong CD rates, especially on terms of 3 years and longer, and a low minimum deposit of $500.
- Free access to over 55,000 ATMs through the Allpoint network. For Max Checking account holders, up to $10 in monthly ATM fee reimbursements.
- No monthly fees or minimum balance requirements on Max Checking or several other checking accounts.
- Ability to create subaccounts with Member Savings, a feature that can make budgeting easier.
- To earn the Max Checking rate, you must meet four requirements each month: receive at least one direct deposit, make at least 10 LMCU debit or credit card transactions, log onto online banking at least four times and receive electronic statements.
- Branch access in two states only.
- Interest rate on Member Savings is low compared with offerings by online banks and some credit unions.
- $5 monthly fee on Member Savings — although the fee is relatively easy to avoid, such as by having a checking account or maintaining a daily balance of at least $300.
- Overdraft fees are expensive and can be charged an unlimited number of times.
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.