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  • Alternatives Federal Credit Union

    Alternatives Federal Credit Union Membership

    • Alternatives Federal Credit Union is headquartered in Ithaca, NY, and has been serving members since 1978.
    • Manages over $150.6 million in assets and serves over 10,500 members.

    Membership: Enrolled in the Alternatives Fund of Ithaca, Inc., the credit union’s not-for-profit field of membership association.

  • Altra Federal Credit Union

    Altra Federal Credit Union Membership

    • Altra Federal Credit Union is headquartered in Onalaska, Wisconsin and has served members since 1934.
    • 9th largest credit union in Wisconsin, managing $2.82 Billion in assets and serving over 145,000 members.

    Membership: Eligibility is based on where you live, work, worship, or attend school.

  • Altura Credit Union

    Altura Credit Union Membership

    • Altura Credit Union headquarters is in Riverside, California and has served members since 1957.
    • Manages $2.58 billion in assets and serves over 187,000 members.

    Membership: If you live, work, worship, or attend school in select California counties.

  • America First CU logo

    America First Credit Union Membership

    • America First Credit Union is headquartered in Riverdale, Utah, offering banking services.
    • The largest credit union in Utah with assets totaling $13.4 Billion and serving over 1.13 million members.

    Membership: To become a member, you must meet eligibility such as living, working, worship, volunteering, or attending school in many areas in Utah, Nevada, Idaho, and Arizona.

  • America's Credit Union

    America’s Credit Union Membership

    • America’s Credit Union is headquartered in Dupont, WA, and has been serving members since 1954.
    • Manages over $696.4 million in assets and serves over 33,100 members.

    Membership: Live, work, worship, or attend school in the Pacific Northwest.

  • American 1 Credit Union

    American 1 Credit Union Membership

    • American 1 Credit Union is headquartered in Jackson, MI, and has been serving members since 1959.
    • Manages over $692.9 million in assets and serves over 65,100 members.

    Membership: Open to everyone.

  • American Airlines CU logo

    American Airlines Federal Credit Union Membership

    • American Airlines Federal Credit Union is a not-for-profit, member-owned financial cooperative providing financial banking services to transportation service employees.
    • 19th largest in the United States, with assets totaling $8.44 Billion and serving over 312,000 members.

    Membership: Open to anyone working in the Air Transportation Industry.

  • AmericanEagle Financial Credit Union

    American Eagle Financial Credit Union Membership

    • American Eagle Financial Credit Union headquarters is in East Hartford, Connecticut has been serving members since 1935.
    • Manages over $2.7 Billion in assets and serves over 183,000 members.

    Membership: Live, work, and worship in Hartford, Middlesex, Tolland, or New Haven County in Connecticut and Hampden County, Massachusetts.

  • American Heritage Credit Union

    American Heritage Credit Union Membership

    • American Heritage Federal Credit Union is headquartered in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania and has been serving members since 1948.
    • 5th largest credit union in Pennsylvania, managing $4.69 Billion in assets and serving over 305,000 members.

    Membership: Eligibility includes if you live and work in specific areas, are employed by a partner company, or are related to an existing member.

  • American Southwest Credit Union

    American Southwest Credit Union Membership

    • American Southwest Credit Union is headquartered in Sierra Vista, Arizona and has served members since 1955.
    • 15th largest credit union in Arizona, managing $374.42 Million in assets and serving over 31,000 members.

    Membership: Live, work, or worship in one of the following Arizona counties: Cochise, Pima, Graham, Greenlee, or Santa Cruz.

  • Americas First Federal Credit Union

    Americas First Federal Credit Union Membership

    • Americas First Federal Credit Union is headquartered in Birmingham, Alabama and has been serving members since 1936.
    • 4th largest credit union in Alabama, managing $2.4 Billion in assets and serving over 202,000 members.

    Membership: Live, work, worship, or attend school in a county served by Americas First.

  • AmeriCU Credit Union

    AmeriCU Credit Union Membership

    • AmeriCU Credit Union is headquartered in Rome, NY, and has been serving members since 1978.
    • Manages over $2.7 billion in assets and serves over 160,000 members.

    Membership: Live, work, worship, or attend school in any of the 24 counties served in New York.

  • Andrews Federal Credit Union

    Andrews Federal Credit Union Membership

    • Andrews Federal Credit Union is headquartered in Suitland, MD, and has been serving members since 1948.
    • Manages over $2.3 billion in assets and serves over 131,000 members.

    Membership: Serving multiple military organizations and other select employer groups.

  • ANECA Federal Credit Union

    ANECA Federal Credit Union Membership

    • ANECA Federal Credit Union is headquartered in Shreveport, LA, and has been serving members since 1939.
    • Manages over $219.8 million in assets and serves over 9,300 members.

    Membership: Anyone can join ANECA.

  • AOD Federal Credit Union

    AOD Federal Credit Union Membership

    • AOD Federal Credit Union is headquartered in Oxford, Alabama and has served members since 1950.
    • 15th largest credit union in Alabama, managing $435.41 Million in assets and serving over 37,000 members.

    Membership: Serving 61 underserved census tracks within 10 counties in close proximity to our main branch in Oxford, AL.

  • APCO Employees CU logo

    APCO Employees Credit Union Membership

    • APCO Employees Credit Union provides financial solutions such as loans, investment, savings, credit and debit cards, online banking, and other related services.
    • 2nd largest credit union in Alabama with assets totaling $3.22 Billion and providing banking services to more than 72,000 members.

    Membership: Employee or retiree of Alabama Power Company, Southern Company Services, Southern Nuclear or other affiliated companies of the Southern Company. Family members, related by blood or marriage, to any APCO Credit Union member.

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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