Why Choose a Credit Union Credit Card?
If you’ve dealt with the friendly experts at Wasatch Peaks in the past, you know we’re your go-to source for a variety of borrowing options – home loans, personal loans, auto loans, RV loans and many more. But did you know credit unions offer credit cards? We do! At Wasatch Peaks, we offer Visa Platinum Cards with low rates and great benefits in addition to our many other products and services.
As a credit union offering credit services, we hold a few specific advantages over for-profit banking institutions. Wondering what those advantages are and how can they benefit you? Here’s a look at the credit union credit card difference.
INTEREST RATE CONSIDERATIONS
Federal laws actually prohibit credit unions from charging interest rates higher than 18 percent. However, there are no such restrictions on for-profit credit card companies. What’s more, the average interest rate for cards with these institutions is nearly 17 percent – far higher than most credit unions.
In addition, interest charges on credit union issued cards are 20 percent lower than the same cards issued by banks on average. Put simply, credit unions offer lower rates for the same services.
Another way credit unions can help you save money on credit cards is that they levy fewer fees and penalties for their customers than banks. For example, the average credit union customer pays $20 for a late bill payment or exceeding credit limit; the average penalty for this same thing at a bank is $39. Banks also charge much higher rates for cash advances.
Many times, credit unions are able to offer cards with no annual or balance transfer fees, yet another example of savings.
The Federal Credit Union Act was passed as an act of Congress in 1934, it was intended to "promote thrift and credit extension,” as well as “a meaningful affinity and bond among members, manifested by a commonality of routine interaction, shared and related work experiences, interests, or activities, or the maintenance of an otherwise well-understood sense of cohesion or identity is essential to the fulfillment of the public mission of credit unions.”
One of the ways they promote thrift is through financial education efforts. At Wasatch Peaks, that means our members have access to free financial counseling through BALANCE, an industry leader that helps with budgeting and debt management.
We also offer financial literacy tools, including blog posts like this one, and Banzai. Banzai is an interactive program with modules for kids, teens, and adults to help them navigate real-world scenarios with regard to spending and saving, debt management, and budgeting.
Credit unions are owned by their members, meaning they’re not incentivized by the same things as Wall Street banks who have to please investors. Profit on credit cards and other loans go back to credit union members in the form of lower rates on mortgages or higher dividends on savings accounts.
When you become a credit union member, you’re not simply a customer. You belong to an institution that’s rooting for you. In practical terms, that means saving more and help with spending smarter.
Seventy percent of credit union members claim that their financial institution put customers’ interests above their own, according to Forrester Research. Meanwhile, only 58 percent of bank customers had the same opinion of their financial institution. In general, satisfaction rates are higher for all credit areas.
Credit unions have a field of membership who meet their eligibility requirements not to be exclusive, but to provide the best experience possible. Because they are made up of a community of people with shared interests and concerns, they are smaller and able to provide customer service that is more agile, understanding, and accommodating.
Wasatch Peak Credit Union Has Credit Cards for Nearly Every Type of Spender
Wasatch Peaks members have a range of credit card options from which to choose: our Summit Rewards Visa, our 1.5% and 1% Cash Back Visa, and the No Cash Back Visa.
Each card comes with low variable rates and no annual fee, as well as travel accident and auto rental insurance.
Members also have access to CardNav, a card protection app which allows you to track and monitor card spending and to turn your card on and off remotely.
Want to learn more about why a credit union is beneficial for a credit card, or about any of our loans, checking or savings accounts, business accounts, or other services? Contact us to speak to the experts at Wasatch Peaks today. They’ll take the time to listen to your questions, hear your situation, and meet you where you are so you can meet your financial and personal goals.
To learn more about credit cards, see our blog, Different Types of Credit Cards Explained.