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  • Spirit of Alaska Federal Credit Union Membership

    • Spirit of Alaska Federal Credit Union is headquartered in Fairbanks, Alaska and has served members since 1960.
    • 8th largest credit union in Alaska, managing $193.34 Million in assets and serving over 9,000 members.

    Membership: Live, work, or worship in the Fairbanks North Star Borough.

  • Northern Skies Federal Credit Union Membership

    • Northern Skies Federal Credit Union is headquartered in Anchorage, Alaska and has been serving members since 1967.
    • 7th largest credit union in Alaska, managing $194.77 Million in assets and serving over 13,000 members.

    Membership: Live, work, attend school, worship, or volunteer within the state of Alaska.

  • MAC Federal Credit Union Membership

    • MAC Federal Credit Union is headquartered in Fairbanks, Alaska and has been serving members since 1952.
    • 6th largest credit union in Alaska, managing $198.27 Million in assets and serving over 19,000 members.

    Membership: Persons who live, worship, work (or regularly conduct business in), or attend school, and businesses and other legal entities in the specific areas in Alaska.

  • True North Federal Credit Union Membership

    • True North Federal Credit Union is headquartered in Juneau, Alaska and has served members since 1948.
    • 5th largest credit union in Alaska, managing $218.48 Million in assets and serving over 13,000 members.

    Membership: Eligible people who live and work in designated areas served by the credit union in Alaska.

  • Matanuska Valley Federal Credit Union Membership

    • Matanuska Valley Federal Credit Union is headquartered in Palmer, Alaska and has served members since 1948.
    • 3rd largest credit union in Alaska, managing $893.98 Million in assets and serving over 58,000 members.

    Membership: If you live, work, attend school, or worship in one designated area served in Alaska and Hawaii.

     

  • Credit Union 1 Membership

    • Credit Union 1 is headquartered in Anchorage, Alaska and has served members since 1982.
    • 2nd largest credit union in Alaska, managing $1.44 Billion in assets and serving over 91,000 members.

    Membership: Anyone living or working in Alaska can join Credit Union 1.

  • Alaska District Engineers Federal Credit Union Membership

    • Alaska District Engineers Federal Credit Union is headquartered in Anchorage, Alaska and has served members since 1949.
    • 9th largest credit union in Alaska, managing $13.76 Million in assets and serving over 500 members.

    Membership: All employees and immediate family members of the Alaska District Corps of Engineers are eligible.

  • Tongass Federal Credit Union Membership

    • Tongass Federal Credit Union is headquartered in Ketchikan, Alaska and has served members since 1963.
    • 4th largest credit union in Alaska, managing $223.16 Million in assets and serving over 14,000 members.

    Membership: If you live, work, worship, or attend school in Alaska’s Southeast Economic Region or Gulf Coast Economic Region.

  • Global Credit Union Membership

    • Alaska Federal State Credit Union is a member-owned financial cooperative providing financial banking services.
    • The 17th largest in the United States, with assets totaling $9.54 Billion and serving over 692,000 members.

    Membership: If you live in Alaska, Washington, California’s San Bernardino County, and Arizona’s Maricopa County, you are eligible to join Alaska USA.

What is Banking?

Banking is a form of money management using products and services related to savings and loans.

Different Types of Financial Institutions

Banks

Banks are what we typically associate with banking. They come in different sizes: local, national, traditional and online-only. Federal or state agencies supervise banks. The FDIC insures deposits of participating banks.

Credit Unions

Credit unions are not-for-profit financial institutions. They offer products and services similar to banks with a focus on member service, not profit. The NCUA insures deposits from participating credit unions.

Alternative Financial Services

Many fintechs are non-chartered financial services companies that offer banking services. You might think of them as an app offering checking and savings accounts, debit cards, payments, etc. They are not banks but work with partner banks or credit unions to hold your deposits.

Types of Banking Accounts

Banking accounts help make financial transactions convenient.

Savings Account

A savings account helps you save your money. You’re storing your money for future use and hopefully earning a reasonable interest rate. Interest is the money you earn for letting the bank keep your money. Some financial institutions impose minimum deposits, withdrawal limits, and fees.

Checking Account

A checking account is a transactional account that allows you to make deposits and withdrawals of your money anytime. Checking accounts is not the best place to store your money, as the goal of the account is for use, not saving.

Most checking accounts do not pay interest, but some do. Be mindful of transaction limits, minimum balance requirements, and fees.

Debit Card

Checking accounts come with a debit card enabling you to spend your money conveniently. A debit card allows for making purchases at stores and online shopping. You can only spend the money that’s in your checking account. Additionally, you can use your debit card at ATMs to make deposits, withdrawals, check balances, and transfers between accounts.

Money Market Account

A money market account is a type of hybrid savings and checking account. It tends to have higher deposit requirements but often pays more interest than a savings account.

Certificate of Deposit (CD)

A certificate of deposit, also known as a CD, helps you save money with a set interest rate for a specific amount of time. Your cash is term-locked. In exchange, you get a higher interest rate compared to a traditional savings account. Certificate terms can start at 30 days and go to 5 or more years.

How to Choose the Best Banking Service

You have many choices on the type of account to use and the variety of financial institutions available. So, shop around. Ask the following questions to help you narrow down your choices:

  • What are the products and services offered?
  • What are the fees?
  • Are there minimum balance requirements?
  • Do I need a physical location (like a branch) or prefer better mobile app services?
  • Does local banking matter or is national big bank convenient?
  • Are deposits FDIC or NCUA insured?
  • How to access your money?
  • Debit card? ATM network?
  • Can I set auto-transfers, auto-payments, and alerts?

You want to determine how the banking provider aligns with your needs, the cost of services, safety, security, and overall convenience.

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