Millions of Americans are taking a financial hit due to the COVID-19 pandemic. If you count yourself among them, you might be looking for some stability and ways you can save some money. Fortunately, one of the simplest ways to get more out of your financial accounts is to become a member of a credit union. But how different is it really to be a credit union member versus a bank customer?
You’re a Co-Owner
Credit unions are owned by their members. It’s why every credit union requires a small deposit in a share account — this contribution represents your stake in the credit union. As a member-owner, you’re entitled to vote for the board of directors, giving you direct say in the leadership of your financial institution. At Advancial Federal Credit Union, you can cast your vote during our Annual Meeting held in the first quarter of each year. In contrast, bank customers rarely have any say in how business is run. Instead, the board of directors is elected by shareholders who may or may not have customer interests at heart.

You’re Part of a Community
Many credit unions, including Advancial, limit their membership to people who share the same community or workplace. This means your fellow members likely live or work in the same space as you. By focusing on a limited member-base, you’ll find that credit unions do a better job of meeting your unique needs compared to the big banks you see everywhere.

You Get Better Rates and Fewer Fees
Because credit unions are non-profit and member-owned, all earnings are used to benefit the members. This means members can expect to pay less in fees and interest. Plus, they can enjoy higher rates on savings accounts. Meanwhile, customers at banks are frequently taken advantage of to boost profits. Checking account maintenance fees and paltry interest rates on savings accounts are the norm and show little sign of changing.

You’re Treated Better
Credit unions have historically maintained higher customer satisfaction ratings, thanks to their strong emphasis on member service. Plus, members will discover services that simply don’t exist with the big banks. Have you ever wanted to manage your accounts in-person, but you’re traveling with no familiar branches anywhere? Credit unions, like Advancial, are part of shared branch networks, meaning you can use the services of any credit union in the network. There are over 5,000 shared branches available to Advancial members. Plus, Advancial reimburses fees from all non-Advancial ATMs, meaning our members don’t lose a cent to ATM fees when they aren’t near one of our branches.

You Get the Financial Features You Want
No need to worry about missing any features offered by banks! Checking accounts, savings accounts, youth accounts, credit cards, loans, online banking, a mobile app, mobile wallet compatibility, phone support, chat support, email support and financial education resources are all available at your local credit union.

Are You Happy with Your Financial Institution?
If you’re still a customer at a for-profit bank, now’s a great time to make the switch to a not-for-profit credit union. At Advancial, we offer checking accounts with no monthly fees, no foreign transaction fees, no ATM fees and no minimum account balance requirement. Plus, you can enjoy the benefits of monthly dividends and debit card rewards. Start enjoying our higher deposit rates, lower loan rates and great services by becoming a member at