The Credit Union Difference

Do you know the difference between a big bank and a credit union? If you do, your wallet will thank you!

According to the National Association of Federally-Insured Credit Unions, or NAFCU for short, credit unions—not-for-profit, member-owned financial cooperatives- continue to prove that they offer consumers distinct advantages over big banks. Progressive Credit Union is one of the oldest financial cooperatives in New York. We’re proud of our credit union lineage, as well as our membership in NAFCU. You can find five benefits of credit union membership below.

Five Credit Union Benefits that Differentiate Our Institution from Big Banks

1. People before profits

At a credit union, the members always come first, not profits for shareholders. Members are owners and have a say in how an institution is operated. Credit unions are governed by a board of directors made up of volunteer members. Any “earnings” go to members in the form of lower fees and competitive rates.

2. Joining, or switching, is easy

Consumers can find a credit union to join at You can apply to Progressive CU membership in our branch on West 33rd Street in New York City, or inquire about potential membership here.

3. Low minimum balances and fees

According to Bankrate’s 2016 Credit Union Checking Survey, a whopping 76 percent of credit unions offer free checking compared with a measly 37 percent of banks. At most credit unions, you can open an account for as little as $10. Credit unions offer a wide range of products, including savings/checking accounts, debit cards, loans, as well as online banking.

4. Some of the best interest rates on deposit accounts and loans

Credit unions are widely recognized for their competitive low rates and high dividends paid to their membership. They also offer a variety of benefits and rewards programs.

5. Convenience/Technology

Many credit unions participate in a shared branching network that gives members access to credit union locations in all 50 states. They also offer access to tens of thousands of free ATMs nationwide. With shared branching and a vast ATM networks, many credit union members can enjoy direct, surcharge-free access to their money. PCU has partnered with All Point for our ATM network, offering members unfettered access to thousands of surcharge-free ATMs across the United States. Need help finding an ATM? Click here!

Deposits in the federally credit unions like PCU are federally-insured to at least $250,000, same as banks, by the National Credit Union Administration.

The original version of this article published by NAFCU can be found here.

The National Association of Federal Credit Unions (NAFCU) is the only national trade association focusing exclusively on federal issues affecting the nation’s federally-insured credit unions. NAFCU membership is direct and provides credit unions with the best in federal advocacy, education and compliance assistance. For more information on NAFCU, go to or @NAFCU on Twitter.