Consumers Credit Union (CCU) is an Illinois-based financial institution that has been around since 1930.
CCU has a handful of physical locations but mostly operates as an online banking option with accounts available nationwide.
CCU offers personal and business accounts, home and personal loans, and other financial services.
Today, we’ll cover all the ins and outs of banking with CCU. From membership benefits to customer service, you’ll get the full picture of what CCU can provide as a financial partner.
Consumers Credit Union Checking Accounts
Here are the current checking account options that CCU offers:
1. Rewards Checking
The Consumers Credit Union Rewards Checking account is an interest-bearing option with no monthly maintenance fees or minimum balance requirements.
The account also comes with unlimited check writing and ATM reimbursements, and you can get paid up to two days early when you enroll in direct deposit.
These are all great benefits, but the real perk is the annual percentage yield (APY). The rate is tiered based on certain requirements, and you can earn up to 5.00% on balances up to $10,000.
CCU Rewards Checking APYs:
- Enroll in eDocuments
- Make at least 12 debit card purchases per month
- Receive direct deposits, mobile deposits, or ACH credits totaling $500 or more per month
- Meet all of the requirements to earn 3.00%
- Spend $500 or more with a CCU credit card each month
- Meet all of the requirements to earn 3.00%
- Spend $1,000 or more with a CCU credit card each month
No matter which tier you end up in, balances from $10,000 to $25,000 will earn 0.20%, and anything higher gets a rate of 0.10%.
To open an account, you’ll need a minimum deposit of just $5.
2. Student Choice Checking
Student Choice Checking is an account available to those between 13 and 17 years old.
The account is designed to help kids safely learn good financial habits and has no monthly fee.
The account comes with a debit card, free electronic statements, and $25 monthly ATM fee rebates.
A parent or guardian must be a joint account holder, and you can feel good about keeping spending in check with a $310 daily limit.
No overdrafts are allowed, and your teen can apply for a CCU Visa credit card with your approval.
Once your teen turns 18, you can convert the account into a Free Rewards Checking account. You must do this by the time your child is 19, or you can retain the Student Choice account, but there is a $10 monthly fee.
Consumers Credit Union Savings Accounts
Here are the current savings account options that CCU has to offer:
1. Membership Share Savings Account
Membership Share is a basic savings account that will get you automatic CCU membership when you sign up.
There’s a low minimum balance requirement of $5, and you’ll earn 0.03% APY on your balance.
Overall, it’s a pretty bare-bones savings account, and CCU offers better rates with other options.
2. Smart Saver
Smart Saver is a high-yield savings account with a higher APY of 3.00%.
You’ll need a CCU checking account to qualify for the maximum interest rate.
Next, you must deposit at least $50 monthly, enroll in eDocuments, and deposit at least $500 into your checking account each month.
If you don’t have a CCU checking account, your APY will be a solid but less exciting rate of 0.25%.
Smart Saver has no monthly fees and a maximum deposit restriction of $1,000 per month.
3. Holiday Club Savings
The Holiday Club Savings account helps you save for holiday spending all year. You must open the account with $5 annually and can set up direct deposits throughout the year to have money saved for the holidays.
On November 1 each year, the funds automatically transfer to your Membership Share Savings account, which renews annually.
4. Money Market
CCU’s Money Market option is a no-fee account that earns interest on your balance at a tiered rate.
For balances up to $24,999.99, the current rate is 0.55%.
For balances between $25,000 and $99,999.99, you’ll get 0.65%, $100,000 – $249,999.99 is 0.75%, and anything over $250,000 gets the max rate of 1.16%.
Considering the premium rates available with CCU’s checking and savings accounts, there isn’t much value added here.
5. Certificates of Deposit (CDs)
CCU offers CDs with term lengths ranging from 3 months to 5 years.
A Regular CD requires a minimum deposit of $250, and the interest rate varies depending on how long you commit your funds with rates of 0.5% to 5.5%.
You can also opt for a Jumbo CD, which requires a deposit of at least $100,000.
Consumers Credit Union Credit Cards
CCU offers five credit card options through Visa. Keep in mind that in order to earn the maximum APY with your Rewards Checking account, you’ll need to get and use one of these cards.
1. Visa Platinum
Platinum is a no-annual-fee card that comes with CCU’s lowest APR. The card includes Visa’s Zero Liability, which protects you if your card is lost or stolen. It also includes auto rental insurance and travel and emergency assistance 24/7. Cardholders can also access ID Navigator powered by NortonLifeLock to help prevent identity theft.
2. Visa Platinum Rewards
Platinum Rewards earns one point for every dollar spent, which you can redeem for gifts, travel, or experiences.
There’s no annual fee for this card, and like the Visa Platinum card, it includes travel and emergency assistance, Zero Liability, and identity theft protection. Cardholders are also automatically enrolled in the CURewards Program, which offers bonus points you can redeem for products and experiences.
3. Visa Signature Rewards
Signature Rewards is a no-annual-fee rewards card that earns triple points on groceries, double points on gas, and single points on everything else.
The card includes all the basics of the Visa Platinum card, plus travel insurance, lost luggage reimbursement, and 24/7 concierge service.
4. Visa Signature Cash Rebate
Signature Cash Rebate is similar to Signature Rewards but earns cash back instead of bonus points. Cardholders get 3% back on groceries, 2% on gas, and 1% on all other purchases.
There is no annual fee, and it includes all the benefits of the Visa Signature Rewards card.
5. Student Visa
The CCU Student Visa is designed for students aged 13 to 21 and aims to help young people build a positive credit score. There’s no annual fee, but also no points or cash rewards.
A parent or guardian has to apply for the card, and students are listed as authorized users. The card also includes ID Navigator Powered by NortonLifeLock.
Here are some of the top features that CCU has to offer you as a member:
15 Physical Locations
CCU accounts are available nationwide, but in-person banking services are limited to those in the Chicago area. CCU has 15 brick-and-mortar branches, all located in suburbs north of Chicago.
If you live outside of Illinois, your experience with CCU will be online only. You’ll have full digital access to your CCU accounts, and you can easily use bill pay, monitor your balance, and transfer funds.
CCU’s mobile banking app allows you to take care of banking needs from your smartphone 24/7.
You can use biometric authentication to access your accounts through the app, where you make mobile check deposits and take care of any account maintenance.
CCU’s mobile banking experience has mixed reviews overall and might function a little better on Android than iOS.
The app currently has a rating of 4.1 stars (out of 5) in the App Store and 3.8 stars (out of 5) in the Google Play Store.
30,000+ Free ATMs
There are more than 30,000 surcharge-free ATMs in the CCU network, which you can easily find on the website or app.
CCU also reimburses for any out-of-network fees on certain accounts.
Overall, CCU doesn’t have too much to worry about when it comes to fees. None of its accounts have monthly maintenance fees or low-balance charges.
That said, there are still some things to keep in mind, so let’s look at the most common fees that come with a CCU bank account.
- Overdraft Fees: CCU charges $30 per overdraft on each of its account options. There’s also an option to automatically cover the negative balance with funds from a linked account for no charge.
- ATM Fees: Some CCU checking accounts come with out-of-network ATM fee rebates, but not all do. CCU doesn’t charge any fees itself, but if you’re using an ATM that does, you might end up paying for it.
- Wire Transfers: CCU doesn’t support international wires, so you’ll only have the option to send and receive wire transfers domestically. The fee for incoming wires is $10, and it’ll cost $30 to send one out.
Unlike some credit unions, joining CCU is easy and open to anyone. To join, you’ll need to become a member of the Consumers Cooperative Association, which you can do from www.myconsumers.org.
There’s a one-time membership fee of $5 to join, which you’ll pay at the end of your application.
From there, it’s pretty standard. All you need to open an account is a valid U.S. ID and a Social Security Number.
You can open a new account online in just a few minutes or opt to do it over the phone or in-branch (if you live near Chicago).
CCU doesn’t have any sign-up bonuses for new accounts, but don’t let that steer you away.
Consider This: If you max out the 5.0% APY on a Rewards Checking account with a $10,000 balance, you’re looking at an annual return of $500. For perspective, if you were to sign up for an alternate savings account — even with a $200 sign-up bonus and a 0.50% APY — you would only net around $250 for the year.
Big sign-up bonuses and bank promotions are always tempting, but it pays to look at the whole picture whenever you choose a new account.
CCU is backed by the National Credit Union Administration (NCUA), meaning all your deposits are protected for up to $250,000.
For online security, CCU utilizes 128-bit encryption, automatic timeouts, and multi-factor authentication.
It also keeps tabs on your account with access prevention and fraud monitoring so you can feel assured that your information and money are safe.
To reach CCU’s customer service team, you can head to the website and send a secure message or browse through FAQs to try and find the answers you need.
You can also give them a call at 877-275-2228; they are available 24/7. They also offer online chat Monday through Friday from 9 am to 5 pm CT.
If you live in Illinois, you can always head to your local branch for support, but keep in mind that many locations are by appointment only.
Pros & Cons
- Plenty of financial products
- High APYs
- Few fees
- Easy to join
- Few physical locations
- No sign-up bonus
- Low Money Market rates
- No international wires
Alternatives to Consumers Credit Union
If you want to look into other nationwide credit unions, check out:
Frequently Asked Questions
Is Consumers Credit Union FDIC insured?
Are there two Consumers Credit Unions?
Yes. There’s another Consumers Credit Union based out of Kalamazoo, Michigan, which only provides accounts and services to members living there.
Where is Consumers Credit Union located?
CCU’s headquarters is located in Gurnee, IL, and it operates 15 physical branches in the Chicago area.
Is Consumers Credit Union Right For You?
Consumers Credit Union offers a comprehensive banking platform that’s more accessible than the majority of credit unions.
You can become a CCU member no matter what state you live in, and there are plenty of accounts and services to take advantage of.
On paper, CCU stands out mainly because of its eye-popping APYs. Even for a credit union or an online bank, both known for high rates, there’s a lot to notice with a CCU account.
Couple that earning potential with a low fee schedule, and CCU stands out as a solid partner to get your money moving in the right direction.
On the other hand, if you don’t live in Illinois and you like being able to stop by your local credit union branch, you’re out of luck with CCU.
At the end of the day, CCU is well worth your attention as a financial partner. Whether you’re looking to open your first account or wondering if you should switch from a bank to a credit union, you should now be in a better position to take that next step.