Connexus Credit Union Review

Connexus Credit Union

Overall Rating

9

Bottom Line

Connexus has been named one of the best credit unions around by multiple outlets in recent years and made our list of the best credit unions. When you take into account its low fee schedule, competitive rates, and first-rate mobile platform, this shouldn't come as a surprise.

Pros

  • High-yield checking account
  • Solid MMA and CD rates
  • Very few fees
  • Excellent mobile app

Cons

  • No sign-up bonus
  • Few physical branches

Connexus Credit Union is a member-owned financial cooperative based out of Wausau, Wisconsin.

With a physical presence in four states and a nationwide digital banking platform, Connexxus provides deposit products, credit cards, home and auto loans, and other financial services.

Connexus was founded in 1935 as a credit union servicing employees and families of local insurance companies in Wausau.

Today, Connexus claims over $3 billion in assets and houses nearly 400,000 members across all 50 states.

In this post, we’ll cover everything that Connexus is doing to serve those members, from products to pricing to pros and cons.

In This Article

Connexus Credit Union Checking Accounts

Connexus offers three different checking accounts, with unique features available in each one.

Connexus checking accounts don’t have any monthly fees or minimum balance requirements, and they all come with a Visa debit card and free statements.

Xtraordinary Checking Account

Xtraordinary is an interest-bearing checking account that comes with an annual percentage yield (APY) of 1.75%.

This impressive rate is applied to the first $25,000 of your balance when you make 15 debit card purchases or spend $400 or more each month.

The portion of your balance above $25,000 still earns interest with a 0.25% APY.

Xtraordinary also comes with $25 in out-of-network ATM fee reimbursements per month.

Innovative Checking Account

Innovative Checking is a more basic option and doesn’t have an APY tied to the account, and you won’t get any fees reimbursed for out-of-network ATM fees.

Considering that all Connexus checking accounts are free, there isn’t much reason to choose this option over Xtraordinary.

Teen Checking Account

Teen Checking is an interest-bearing checking account for teens that earns a 2.00% APY with no qualifying requirements.

The rate only applies to the first $1,000 of your balance, and a 0.25% APY is applied to the rest.

Teen Checking is open to members aged 10 to 17 and automatically converts into an Innovative checking account when the member turns 18.

Connexus Credit Union Savings Accounts

Here are the current savings account options you can find with Connexus Credit Union:

Member Share Savings Account

Member Share is a traditional savings account with a 0.25% APY on all balances. There’s no maximum balance threshold, and you can request an ATM card for easy access to your funds.

Your Member Share account can easily be linked to your Connexus checking account for quick transfers, and you’ll have 24/7 access to your savings from all of your devices.

A Member Share Savings account is required for membership with Connexus.

Holiday Club Account

Holiday Club is a unique savings account that helps you stash money away for the holiday season. Here’s how it works:

When you open an account, you can link it to direct deposit and choose how much of your paycheck goes into it.

Once October 1st comes around, the funds in the account are available to transfer out.

The account automatically renews each year, and you can change your deposit amount at any time. Holiday Club earns interest at a rate of 0.25%, and there is no maximum limit.

Connexus Credit Union Money Market Account

Connexus’ Money Market option is a high-yield account that earns more the higher your balance grows.

There’s no minimum deposit requirement, but you’ll need a balance of at least $1,000 to start earning interest.

Connexus MMA APY Tiers:

  • $0 to $999: 0.00% APY
  • $1,000 to $9,999: 0.25% APY
  • $10,000 to $19,999.99: 0.45% APY
  • $20,000 to $49,999.99: 0.60% APY
  • $50,000 to $99,999.99: 0.85% APY
  • $100,000+: 1.00% APY

Keep in mind that in order to earn interest with a money market account, you’ll need to have an active checking account first.

Connexus defines an active checking account by one direct deposit and 10 transactions per month.

Connexus Credit Union Share Certificates (CDs)

Share Certificates are the credit union version of a Certificate of Deposit, or CD. With Connexus, you can open a Share Certificate with an initial deposit of at least $5,000.

Term lengths range from 12 to 60 months, and the longer you commit your funds, the higher your APY gets.

Connexus CD Rates and Terms:

  • 12 months: 0.55%
  • 24 months: 0.65%
  • 36 months: 0.75%
  • 48 months: 0.85%
  • 60 months: 1.00%

Unlike its Money Market option, you don’t need to have an existing Connexus account to open a Share Certificate.

Connexus Credit Union Credit Cards

Connexus offers four personal credit card options. All four have no annual fee, and each one comes with different cardholder benefits.

Keep reading to see what you’ll get out of each card.

1. Platinum Card

Platinum is a debt-management card that comes with a 0% intro APR for your first 20 billing cycles.

This applies to both purchases and balance transfers, so you’ll have time and flexibility to take care of monthly payments.

2. Max Cash Preferred

Max Cash Preferred is a cash rewards card that earns 5% cashback in two select categories. You’ll earn another 2% back in a third category and 1% on everything else.

When you sign up for a new Max Cash Preferred card, there’s a $150 bonus when you spend $500 or more in the first 90 days, and you’ll get a 0% APR on balance transfers for your first 12 months.

3. Real Rewards

Real Rewards is a points-based card that earns 1.5 points (equal to 1.5% cashback) on eligible purchases.

There’s a 0% intro APR for your first 6 billing cycles on balance transfers and purchases, and you’ll get a 2,500 point bonus when you use your card for the first time.

4. Secured Card

The Connexus Secured Card is a good fit for anyone looking to improve or establish their credit score.

There are no points or rewards, but you can safely manage your credit report with a limit that’s dictated the balance in your linked savings account.

Connexus Credit Union Features

Here are the top features you will get as a member with Connexus Credit Union:

13 Physical Locations

Connexus currently operates 13 brick and mortar branches across four states — Wisconsin, Minnesota, Ohio, and New Hampshire.

All of these branches are full-service for members, with the exception of its Portsmouth, NH location, which is only available to Liberty Mutual employees.

6,000+ Shared Branches

If you don’t live near a Connexus branch, you’ll have the option of using a shared branch. Shared Branching refers to a nationwide network of credit unions that allow members to access certain financial services.

The specific services offered will vary from branch to branch, but loan payments, money orders, withdrawals, and deposits are commonly available.

However, you won’t be able to open a new account or take out a new loan at any shared branches.

54,000 Free ATMs

Connexus is part of the CO-OP and MoneyPass ATM networks, so members can enjoy surcharge-free access to more than 54,000 ATMs nationwide.

Just look for either network’s logo on an ATM or head to the Connexus website or app to track one down.

Online Banking

Since Connexus’ in-person presence is relatively limited, members outside of its service area can mostly think of it as an online-only credit union.

The Connexus digital banking platform lets you use bill pay, transfer funds, and review your accounts online.

Mobile App

The Connexus mobile banking app gives you full access to every aspect of your accounts. You’ll have all of the same digital banking features, plus mobile deposits, custom notifications, and savings goal trackers.

The app comes with a virtual financial assistant and easily links with your mobile wallet for contactless payments.

Current members seem to be raving about the app’s functionality — with a rating of 4.7 stars (out of 5) in the App Store and 4.6 stars (out of 5) in the Google Play Store.

Member Benefits

As a member of a credit union, you’re often entitled to certain perks that come along with a cooperatively owned organization.

With Connexus, these benefits come in the form of extra cash — expect lower fees, higher yields, and lower interest rates than you would expect to see with a for-profit bank.

Connexus Jr.

Connexus Jr. is a free mobile app that aims to teach kids up to 12 years old about personal finance and money management.

The app is separate from the Connexus banking app, and you don’t need a Connexus account to access it.

Connexus Credit Union Fees

For the most part, Connexus lives up to the positive reputation of credit unions being fee-free banking spaces. There are only a few common fees that you’ll need to look out for.

  • Overdraft Fees: Connexus charges a $29.95 fee when you overdraft your account. There are a couple of different options for overdraft protection, including linked savings or a line of credit. The credit line comes with an 18.00% APR, so your best bet is generally to opt for a transfer from your savings, which is fee-free.
  • ATM Fees: Connexus doesn’t charge any fees for domestic ATM use, but depending on your account, you might end up paying out-of-network fees. Xtraordinary Checking is the only account that reimburses for ATM fees, so any other account will be subject to whatever fee the ATM charges. For international ATM withdrawals, Connexus charges up to a 1.5% fee.
  • Wire Transfer Fees: Incoming wires are free with Connexus, but if you have to send one out, you’ll pay $20 if it’s domestic and $50 for international.

Getting Started

Connexus membership eligibility is offered to those who belong to certain organizations or live in certain communities.

You can check out the full list of member organizations here, as well as the towns and counties in Minnesota, Ohio, and Wisconsin that qualify.

Family members of existing members are also eligible to join.

If you don’t belong to a member organization or live in Connexus’ service area, don’t worry — you can still qualify for membership by joining the Connexus Association, which requires just a one-time $5 donation.

Once you become a member, you can open an account online, over the phone, or in-person with an appointment.

To apply, all you’ll need is a government-issued ID, your physical address, Social Security number, and date of birth.

Promotions

Unfortunately, there are no sign-up bonuses or other bank promotions at the moment for new Connexus accounts.

That said, as recently as 2020, Connexus was offering a $250 bonus for new Xtraordinary Checking accounts.

Offers like this almost always pop back up eventually, so stay tuned to get the latest updates on what Connexus has to offer.

Security

As a digital-forward financial institution, Connexus has a high emphasis on a safe and secure online banking experience.

It has a dedicated fraud monitoring team to keep tabs on any unusual activity, along with plenty of helpful resources to help protect yourself and report fraud.

The Connexus mobile app utilizes Touch ID and Face ID, along with multi-factor authentication and automatic log-outs. If your debit card is lost or stolen, there’s a 24-hour contact center to help you out.

Finally, like all accredited credit unions, Connexus accounts are protected by the National Credit Union Administration (NCUA), so your funds are covered for up to $250,000.

Customer Service

Connexus’ Member Contact Center is available Monday through Friday from 6 am to 9 pm Central Time.

You can opt to give them a call at 800-845-5025 or use the live chat on the website.

There’s also the option to send an email or make an appointment to speak with someone in-branch.

Pros & Cons

Pros:

  • High-yield checking account
  • Solid Money Market and CD rates
  • Very few fees
  • Excellent mobile app

Cons:

  • No sign-up bonus
  • Few physical branches
  • Somewhat low savings APR

Alternatives to Connexus Credit Union

If you like what you hear about Connexus but want to see what else is out there, check out other nationwide credit unions like:

Both options have similarly simple eligibility requirements, along with full-service digital banking.

If you want to compare Connexus to the options in the for-profit banking world, take a look at online banks like:

FAQs

Is Connexus Credit Union legitimate?

Yes, Connexus is a legitimate credit union. It’s backed by the NCUA, so you can feel secure that your money is protected.

Who can join Connexus Credit Union?

Anyone with $5. Even if you live outside of Connexus’ service area, you can become a member with a one-time donation of $5 to the Connexus Association.

Is Connexus FDIC-insured?

No. Only banks are backed by the FDIC, while credit unions are members of the NCUA, which serves the same function.

Is Connexus Credit Union Right For You?

Connexus has been named one of the best credit unions around by multiple outlets in recent years.

When you take into account its low fee schedule, competitive rates, and first-rate mobile platform, this shouldn’t come as a surprise.

The main knocks against Connexus are its comparatively low savings APRs (which could be mitigated by savvy use of its other accounts) and the lack of a wide branch network. But overall, there is a lot to like with Connexus.

Whether or not you choose Connexus as your new financial partner, now you know what to expect as you move forward.

And remember that banks and credit unions should help you build your savings, rather than the other way around.