How to Compare Credit Union Savings Account Interest Rates

By Nicki Howell

  • Overview

    Opening a savings account at a credit union allows you access to higher interest rates on savings and lower fees. This is because credit unions are nonprofit and return profits to members in the form of lower loan rates and reduced service fees. But when deciding which credit union to invest your savings with, it's important to have a plan for comparing rates. Fortunately, there are companies that allow you to compare credit union rates quickly online. Here's a guide to comparing credit union savings rates.
    • Step 1

      Understand what types of savings products credit unions offer. Typically credit unions offer three types of savings accounts: traditional, money market and high-yield money market. With a traditional savings account, your opening balance will be low ($100 or less), but the interest rate will also be lower. With a money market account, the opening balance with be more ($100-$1,000), but you will earn higher yields on your savings. With a high-yield money market account, you will typically earn the highest rate but the minimum deposit will be about $25,000-$100,000, depending on the credit union.
    • Step 2

      Compare credit union rates at SavingsAccount.com, which is a company that publishes the best credit union rates in the nation. Just narrow your search criteria to include credit unions only. Many credit unions will allow you to open an account by mail. Just fill out the online application and mail with a copy of your driver's license and a check for the opening deposit amount.


    • Step 3

      Compare credit union savings rates with Bank Rate. This company allows you to narrow your search to credit unions and compare savings rates in your geographic area by entering your ZIP code.
    • Step 4

      Understand membership requirements. Each credit union serves a specific membership group or a community. Before attempting to open an account, read membership requirements. There will typically be a list of organizations that qualify you for membership; or if the credit union services specific communities, there will be a list of qualifying counties.
    • Step 5

      Create a comparison chart. Open an Excel spreadsheet (or comparable program) and create a column for each savings account and any applicable fees. This will allow you to easily compare which credit union is offering the best interest rate on savings accounts.
    • Skill: Moderate
    • Ingredients:
    • Excel (or comparable spreadsheet)
    • Tip: Ask your credit union for a relationship discount. If you have your savings, checking and a loan product with your credit union, ask for a relationship discount. This could increase your savings rate an extra 25-75% depending on the credit union.
    • Warning:
    • Read the savings fee disclosures. This should include information about monthly services fees, which can range from $5-$20 depending on the credit union. Also, if you make too many withdrawals from your account, you may be assessed an additional few dollars per transaction. Understand this information before deciding which savings account to open.

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