WalletHub’s Guide to Credit Union Cards


Credit unions aren’t as well-known as the credit union credit cards from big banks, but these not-for-profit organizations can often offer better terms and perks. That’s because profits from a credit union card typically go back to members in the form of lower fees and rates. Credit unions also usually have less restrictive membership requirements, which may make them a better choice for some people.

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Credit card interest rates tend to be lower at credit unions than at for-profit banks, which is a great perk for anyone who can pay off their debt every month. Many credit unions also charge fewer fees on their credit cards than bank issuers, so you can save money if you want to do a balance transfer or shop abroad.

Other credit union benefits include a willingness to work with you if you have financial difficulties. Credit unions typically let you alter your card’s terms to help you stay afloat, which can be especially helpful for those who have lost a job or suffered a medical emergency.

While these advantages can be appealing, there are some things to consider before you apply for a credit union card. First, you’ll need to qualify for membership. WalletHub’s search tool can help you find the right credit union for your needs, but you can usually join one by working or living in an eligible area; being affiliated with an employer or organization, such as a church; or simply meeting other membership requirements. In addition, you should be aware that credit unions practice cross-collateralization, which means that any of your other accounts or loans at the credit union can be used to cover your credit card debt if you miss payments.

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