The Best Credit Unions Of 2023 | Bankrate (2023)

When you think of credit unions, you may think of rigid membership requirements that leave you on the outside looking in. While that may be the case with some, many of the best credit unions have flexible requirements that open the door to anyone.

Credit unions are known to offer benefits such as free checking accounts, competitive yields on deposit products, and more personalized customer service than you’ll often get from big banks.

Bankrate analyzed and scored credit unions across the nation based on a variety of factors including product selection, APY offerings, account fees, mobile features and more. If you’re considering joining a credit union, start your search here.

Quorum Federal Credit Union

BEST CREDIT UNION

Quorum is a Purchase, New York-based credit union that serves more than 75,000 members nationwide. It’s easy for anyone to become a member, and Quorum offers access to more than 90,000 fee-free ATMs throughout the U.S. Quorum was recently named the best credit union as part of the 2023 Bankrate Awards, which recognizes the best financial products available to consumers.

Easy to join: All it takes to join Quorum is becoming a member of the American Consumer Council or the Select Savers Club.

Fee-free products: Service fees are nonexistent or easy to avoid for the QClassic checking and all the savings accounts.

Extensive ATM network: Customers have free access to more than 90,000 ATMs nationwide.

> Read our full Quorum Federal Credit Union review

Alliant Credit Union

TOP CREDIT UNION

Chicago-based Alliant Credit Union is known for its consistently high rates, extensive fee-free ATM network and easy membership eligibility requirements.

High-yield accounts: Alliant’s savings account earns an APY that’s well above the national average, and its CDs and interest-bearing checking account also pay yields that are competitive.

Large ATM network and generous fee rebates: Customers have access to more than 80,000 fee-free ATMs and up to $20 in monthly ATM fee rebates.

Free checking and savings accounts: Alliant doesn’t nickel-and-dime its customers with fees or minimum balance requirements.

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Easy to join: You can become eligible for an Alliant membership by becoming a member of Foster Care to Success (FC2S). Alliant will pay a $5 membership fee to FC2S on your behalf.

> Read our full Alliant Credit Union review

American Airlines Federal Credit Union

TOP CREDIT UNION

If you or a family member is an active or retired member of the airline industry, then American Airlines Federal Credit Union may be a good choice for you.

The credit union offers a range of CD terms, checking accounts and savings accounts. Where AAFCU really soars is its competitive APYs, fee-free products and convenient branch footprint that includes 47 locations in many major airports.

Competitive APYs: Members can earn APYs that are well above national averages on the credit union’s deposit products. Its Flagship and Priority checking accounts pay competitive rates.

Fee-free products: None of the deposit products charge a monthly fee, and the minimum deposit requirements are manageable.

Convenient banking: AAFCU has branches in most major U.S. airports and is a part of the Co-op network of ATMs and shared branches.

> Read our full American Airlines Federal Credit Union review

Bethpage Federal Credit Union

TOP CREDIT UNION

Bethpage Federal Credit Union offers more than 30 branches to residents of Long Island, New York, while its extensive ATM network makes it accessible to those outside the region as well.

Bethpage offers a free checking account with the ability to earn interest. Another area where the credit union shines is its highly rated mobile app that lets you do everything from create a budget to search for transactions.

Rewards checking: The free checking account earns a competitive yield when certain criteria are met.

No membership restrictions: Membership is open to all U.S. citizens, with no special restrictions.

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Highly rated mobile app: Bethpage’s app has high ratings from users of both iOS and Android devices.

> Read our full Bethpage Federal Credit Union review

Boeing Employees’ Credit Union

TOP CREDIT UNION

Boeing Employees’ Credit Union (BECU) is one of the largest credit unions in the United States, and it offers a variety of deposit products as well as a highly rated mobile app that incorporates budgeting tools.

BECU membership is open to Boeing employees and those in one of two alumni associations. You can also join if you’re a resident, student, employee, business owner or churchgoer in Washington or in select counties of Idaho and Oregon. Finally, you can become a member by joining the NW Credit Union Foundation.

Low minimum deposit requirements: The Member Share Savings and Free Checking require no minimum balance, and CDs require a minimum deposit of just $500.

Large ATM network: Members have fee-free access to ATMs operated by BECU, as well as more than 30,000 ATMs nationwide in the Co-op network.

Highly rated mobile app: The BECU mobile app allows you to manage your accounts, as well as budget your money based on your income, debt and spending history.

> Read our full Boeing Employees’ Credit Union review

Connexus Credit Union

TOP CREDIT UNION

Connexus Credit Union is based in Wausau, Wisconsin, and primarily serves customers in the Midwest, but its products and services are available nationwide. Members elsewhere in the U.S. can make transactions at more than 5,600 shared branches run by other credit unions.

Connexus doesn’t charge monthly maintenance fees, and minimum deposit requirements to open accounts are either low or nonexistent.

No-fee banking: Connexus doesn’t charge monthly service fees on its deposit products.

Large ATM network and generous fee rebates: Customers have free access to more than 67,000 ATMs through the MoneyPass and Co-op networks and may qualify for monthly rebates for fees incurred at out-of-network ATMs.

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Easy to join: A one-time $5 donation to the Connexus Association is all it takes to be eligible for membership.

> Read our full Connexus Credit Union review

First Technology Federal Credit Union

TOP CREDIT UNION

Membership in First Technology Federal Credit Union is open to those who work for the State of Oregon or one of the credit union’s partner companies. You can also join if you live in Lane County, Oregon, or by becoming a member of the Computer History Museum or the Financial Fitness Association.

The credit union operates 26 branches and is part of an extensive shared branch network. Members have fee-free access to 30,000 ATMs nationwide through the Co-op network.

Variety of accounts: Members can choose from a wide variety of deposit products including rewards checking and savings accounts, free and HSA checking accounts and five terms of CDs.

No-fee banking: The First Checking Plus and Membership Savings accounts don’t charge monthly maintenance fees. What’s more, both require low minimum deposits.

Easy to join: If you don’t meet residency or employment requirements, you can join by purchasing a relatively inexpensive membership to one of two organizations.

Patelco Credit Union

TOP CREDIT UNION

Patelco Credit Union has more than 400,000 members nationwide, and membership is open to those who live in northern California, as well as those who work for more than 1,100 businesses throughout the country.

Members have access to 37 local branches, more than 6,000 shared branches nationwide, and more than 30,000 fee-free ATMs.

Free checking and savings accounts: The Regular Savings and Free Checking accounts require no minimum balance and charge no monthly service fees.

Large ATM network: Members have access to ATMs owned by Patelco, as well as more than 30,000 ATMs nationwide in the Co-op network.

Competitive CD yields: Many of Patelco’s CDs earn yields higher than national averages, and a minimum deposit of just $250 is required.

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> Read our full Patelco Credit Union review

Pentagon Federal Credit Union

TOP CREDIT UNION

Pentagon Federal Credit Union, or PenFed, was traditionally open to members of the U.S. Armed Forces and employees of certain associations and government departments. But after a merger with Progressive Credit Union in 2019, it now allows anyone to join.

The Washington, D.C.-based credit union offers competitive yields and low minimum deposit and balance requirements.

Competitive APYs: Members earn yields that are well above average on the credit union’s Premium Online Savings Account and certificate products.

Low minimum balance and deposit requirements: Low deposit requirements make PenFed’s accounts accessible to a range of savers.

Easy to join: Consumers who don’t meet the primary membership requirements can gain eligibility by signing up for one of dozens of organizations, such as the Marine Corps League or the Air Force Association.

> Read our full Pentagon Federal Credit Union review

VyStar Credit Union

TOP CREDIT UNION

VyStar Credit Union offers low-cost banking and a range of deposit accounts to those who live or work in select counties in Florida and Georgia, as well as to past and present members of the military and their families.

With more than 825,000 members, VyStar offers products like a free checking account that bears interest and CDs in a wide range of term lengths.

Competitive yields: VyStar offers CDs with terms from three months to five years, most of which earn APYs well above national averages.

Large ATM network: Members have access to more than 20,000 ATMs, including those owned by VyStar and in the Accel and Plus networks.

Low minimum deposit requirements: VyStar’s accounts have minimum deposit requirements that are low to nonexistent.

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> Read our full VyStar Credit Union review

Note: This story was updated to better reflect that Quorum Federal Credit Union was named the Best Credit Union in January 2023 and the other institutions listed here were recognized as top credit unions based on analysis from the most recent Bankrate Awards.

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