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Consumers Credit Union Review: Checking, Savings and CDs

Nov. 14, 2018
Banking, Banks & Credit Unions, CDs, Checking Accounts, Savings Accounts
Consumers Credit Union Review
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Consumers Credit Union


cheatgame.info’s rating: 4.0 / 5.0

Consumers Credit Union

at Consumers Credit Union,

Federally insured by the NCUA

The biggest appeal of Consumers Credit Union is its checking account, thanks to a rate that can be up to 5.09% APY.

The bottom line

  • With Free Rewards Checking, you have to meet several transaction requirements to earn the full 5.09% annual percentage yield
  • It’s easy to become a member of Consumers Credit Union, even if you don’t live near its Lake County, Illinois, headquarters
  • Beyond the ten Chicago-area branches, members have access to a nationwide network of 1,800 shared branches and 30,000 fee-free ATMs

» Want to explore more options? See more top credit unions

Our Ratings
Checking
Savings
Share certificates
Member experience
Overdraft fees
Overall

Read on for more details about Consumers Credit Union’s checking and savings accounts, CDs, bank experience and fees.

Checking


5.0 / 5.0

Consumers Credit Union offers a free checking account with a free ATM network, and goes a step further by providing one of the highest rewards rates available. But the rate, which has three tiers, has monthly requirements that can be challenging. (If you want an easy way to earn high rates, consider a high-yield savings account.) For those willing to go all in, here are the requirements for each tier:

  • Earn 3.09% APY on up to $10,000 by making at least 12 monthly debit card purchases totaling $100 or more, having electronic transactions (direct deposit or ACH transfer) of at least $500 per month and receiving e-statements.
  • Earn 4.09% APY on up to $10,000 by making $500 in Consumers Credit Union credit card purchases monthly all the previous requirements.
  • Earn 5.09% APY on up to $10,000 by making an additional $500 in credit card purchases monthly all the previous requirements.

If you have one of the above rates, you earn 0.10% or 0.20% APY for amounts beyond your tier’s balance limit ($10,000). Alternatively, if you don’t complete the initial four requirements in any month:

  • Earn 0.01% APY on all balances
ProsCons
  • No monthly fee or minimum balance requirement
  • Over 30,000 free ATMs and refunds available if you're charged by other ATMs
  • Rewards rate if you meet requirements
  • There are monthly spending and other requirements to earn the rewards APY and be eligible for the ATM fee refund
Account reviewed for rating: Free Rewards Checking

» Want to see other options? Browse cheatgame.info’s best checking accounts

Savings


3.5 / 5.0

All Consumers Credit Union members must open a share savings account to establish membership. This account has a minimum balance requirement of just $5, and it doesn’t have a monthly fee. But the account doesn’t earn much.

ProsCons
  • Requires only $5 to open
  • Doesn't charge a monthly fee
  • Earns 0.05% APY, slightly less than the national average and way below what online banks offer
  • Charges $1 fee for each ATM withdrawal beyond six per month
Account reviewed for rating: Savings

How does Consumers Credit Union compare?

Consumers Credit Union

Savings Account

cheatgame.info Rating

at Consumers Credit Union,

Federally insured by the NCUA

APY

0.05%

Monthly Fees

$0

Bonus features

No Monthly Fee

Mobile-friendly

Goldman Sachs Bank USA

Online Savings

cheatgame.info Rating

at Goldman Sachs Bank USA,

Member, FDIC

APY

2.05%

Monthly Fees

$0

Bonus features

No Monthly Fee

Competitive APY

American Express National Bank

High Yield Savings Account

cheatgame.info Rating

at American Express National Bank,

Member, FDIC

APY

2.00%

Monthly Fees

$0

Bonus features

No Monthly Fee

Competitive APY

Not for you? Read more bank reviews

» Want to see higher rates? Check out our list of best savings accounts

Share certificates


3.0 / 5.0

You need only $250 to open a share certificate, the credit union version of a CD. Term lengths go up to five years, and rates are solid but not stellar. The five-year CD earns 2.30% APY. In contrast, online banks currently have APYs above 2% for one-year CDs. (See our best picks for CD rates.)

ProsCons
  • Minimum deposit is only $250
  • Better rates available elsewhere
Account reviewed for rating: Share certificates

Member experience


4.0 / 5.0
Although Consumers Credit Union is based in the Chicago area, it participates in a shared national network of 1,800 branches and a surcharge-free ATM network that’s 30,000 strong. Customer service is available by phone and web chat on weekdays during normal business hours and on Saturday mornings.

To be eligible to apply for membership, you must join the Chicago-based organization Consumers Cooperative Association for $5 and then open the credit union’s membership saving account.

Overdraft fees


2.0 / 5.0

Consumers Credit Union charges a $30 fee per overdraft transaction, and there’s no cap on how many fees you can be charged a day. Alternatively, you can link a Consumers savings account to your checking to provide overdraft protection, which costs $10 per transfer.

A rewarding checking option

Consumers Credit Union

at Consumers Credit Union,

Federally insured by the NCUA

Consumers has average savings and certificate options, but Free Rewards Checking is where the credit union really shines. If you want to maximize interest earned in your checking account — and you can meet the transaction requirements — then this institution is worth a look.

 


Ratings methodology

cheatgame.info’s overall ratings for banks and credit unions are weighted averages of several categories: checking, savings, certificates of deposit or credit union share certificates, customer experience and overdraft fees.

Factors we consider, depending on the category, include rates and fees, ATM and branch access, account features and limits, user-facing technology, customer service and innovation.

Ratings are rounded to the nearest half-star.