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January 10, 2013


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I have both. My wifes check goes to a bank, mine to a CU.

I don't have the issues you point out with a CU in transfering money. I can do it just as easy as a bank.

My CU may not be as quick as a bank in posting transfers but I still like it and not having money with just one intitution is perfered.

I have an account for PNC because its all free, not just the checking but the ATM withdraws, no matter what ATM I use.

Didn't know about credit union loan advantages back when I borrowed money, and now that I don't I haven't looked into one. Didnt realize there were things like 3% back on 15, not looking for that but nice alternative if I was.

Wow, 3% on 15k? I'm going to have to check out my local credit union!

Currently I use one local bank, which charges me zero fees for anything including safe deposit and checks, a personal banker, a personal line of credit, and 1% checking on an unlimited amount with the usual direct deposit and debit card use requirements. But their online banking software is horrible and takes days to reflect any activity, and their branches are very inconvenient.

I'm another person who hasnt used an atm card in years...I prefer to just stop by a bank in person once a month during my lunch hour to get the little cash that I typically need.

I like USAA.and ING Direct for online banks for now and use them both for different features. I finally got a brick and mortar credit.union account but only for my LLC. They don't charge any fees I can't easily avoid while the banks in my area do.

Why do I use the local bank that I'm currently at? I just bought a new house and a personal banker that I'd worked with before and really liked had just moved to this new bank. The new bank also offered better rates on the mortgage and bridge loan, and they also offered "high interest" checking which the other bank didn't.

We use a local bank, a national bank, and a credit union. I've never really found much difference between them, though I haven't really scoped out what they may offer. We use them as a matter of convenience - my wife and I each came into the marriage with our own banks (her with the local bank, me with the CU). We've kept them, and each use our individual accounts, though we're both owners of each account. We added the national bank when we started investing in rental property - we now have a good relationship there with our mortgage broker, and they (like many banks) do an interest rate kickback for having direct payments through a checking account. In my experience the national bank is the easiest to work with for getting mortgage loans and has very competitive rates.

I think there really can be some benefits to going through a credit union, especially if you're looking for more personalized care. They generally can't compete on the convenience factor though, which is why I tend to stick with a bank. We use US Bank and USAA for our services. Truth be told, I would go entirely to USAA if it were not for the need to go to a bank to withdraw cash.

I have been a credit union customer since 1956 and am totally satisfied with their service.

One thing I discovered recently was that the various credit unions in our area are linked together so that I can use credit unions other than my own to withdraw money and deposit checks at their ATMs free of charge. You can also use the ATMs at 7/11 stores but their login process is rather tedious.

I haven't ever paid a dime in service charges. My use of Billpay is also free because:
1) I elect to download our own monthly statements.
2) I have our pension and SS checks automatically deposited.

I have a relationship with both a bank and a credit union. I like both and each have their perks. I like the CU for their interest banking and their great loan rates. I like the bank because I can deal with the accounts that are shared with my wife. I don't mind using both.

I love my CU. I used them for 15 years now and they provide any service a bank does. I can easily transfer money, get notarize, cashier check, etc...

I use a local bank, a credit union and an online bank for my deposits and a national bank for my credit card. I use the same credit union as FMF and benefit from the 3% up to $15,000. The local bank (which is also my employer) has a very similar offering that I also take advantage of. My paycheck is deposited with my employer and my wife's goes to the credit union. The online bank is ING and I hold cash there in excess of the amount I can earn 3% on locally. I've used the local bank for my mortgage loan needs.

As a community bank employee, I'm glad to see there isn't an 'all banks are terrible' sentiment on this comment thread. As I imagine most of you are aware, credit unions do not pay income tax and are lobbying congress to increase their commercial lending authorities (and succeeding). With that goal in mind, my personal opinion is that some, not all, credit unions have gotten away from their original intended purpose, which is to better assist the financial needs of a small group of people. In many cases, I see very little difference between credit unions and small/mid-sized banks. The result is community banks, which have traditionally competed on service and product offerings, are at an extreme competitive disadvantage to the credit unions, which pay no income tax, and to big banks, which benefit from economies of scale. I hope our legislators soon realize that literally billions in income eludes taxation simply because of how an entity is set up. If not, I'm afraid the result will be further consolidation of banks, which hurts consumers and increasingly less taxable income to the government, which hurts taxpayers. Alright, that's enough soapbox talk for today. :)

Whenever I see customer satisfaction ratings the credit unions as a whole are at the top. So in general their service is better than the big banks on average. Course there is variation within the credit unions and I'm sure theres credit unions with poor performance. Smaller banks also rate higher for customer satisfaction than the big banks but a little below credit unions.

I think it depends on the bank and the credit union and what your needs are. I've ran into problems with every bank and credit union I've ever dealt with. I havent' come to expect great service or perfection. I quit my credit union years ago due to a stupid minimum fee back when banks were almost free for everything. Course every bank I've had has had some sort of snafu or such at some point too.

We do all our brick and mortar banking at a CU. We each have a separate account, so we get the 'decent' interest on $50K (ours is something in the 2.X% range up to $25K). I generally am happy with them. They have enough locations around me and for some reason I can use Wells Fargo ATMs for free. I don't know why Wells Fargo would agree with that, but I won't complain.

When we were first buying our house, I found it nearly impossible to get a hold of their mortgage dept., so I didn't use them for my mortgage. That's probably the only real annoyance I have had.

BTW, for the people surprised by the 3% rate. That 3% interest rate kind of deal is common at many credit unions and its a 'rewards' type account. There are strings attacked to that 3% rate and usually you have to do around 10 debit card purchases a month to qualify for it. Its almost a given that a CU near you offers such a deal if you look for it.

I grew up using a small local bank and was very happy with them. They were convenient and even when I got my first job I would go in to deposit my checks instead of direct depositing because I liked knowing the tellers. When my husband joined the military and we moved away from our home town, we switched to USAA and have been please with them. We have car insurance, renter's insurance, and briefly had a small car loan through USAA in addition to our banking accounts. I've yet to figure out how to deposit cash besides doing a money order of some sort from another bank, but we don't have to deal with much cash so it hasn't been a big deal. If we end up with extra cash from something, I just use it as grocery money instead.

Except for one cash-back credit card, we have divorced our finances from To Big To Fail banks. I have a problem 'lending' our hard earned cash to scoundrels in high places.

The 3% rate is very common. Be careful not to wait until the last minute to make the 10th debit card transaction or 4th internet visit or whatever final hoop needs jumping through each month. If it posts on the next month's statement, your 3% APR vanishes and is replaced with a sack of fees. Read the fine print!

I don't do much in-person banking, so for me, customer service is not that important (not important enough to sacrifice some things with a credit union). Quick, online access to my money, and not being charged crazy fees is really important to me. As a result, I tend to just use banks. I have been with my bank for a long time, so most of the silly fees are waived.

Consider me firmly in the credit union camp. After a number of bad experiences with Bank of America, I'm not going back to a traditional bank, only to be nickel and dimed to death with fees.

Hey FMF, can't you do ACH transfers from your Vanguard account? That should easily allow you to transfer money to/from between Vanguard and the credit union account. I do this all the time from my Wells Fargo brokerage account, and Fidelity before that.

jclimber99 --

Not sure. I asked them if the bank if they could do it, they said "no", so I moved on. Besides, since my LLC account is with Chase, I do most of my banking there now, and they let you move money however you like.

I bank at both types. No fees at either, though less of a balance required at CU to avoid fees. Either is on my way to/from work so no difference there. I tend to use the CU as my main checking account and for depositing checks since they don't require a deposit slip and know me so I don't even have to show ID. Free ATM is at my workplace and 7-eleven's. For mortgages I've gotten better rates at the bank than the CU.

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