Credit unions offer better rates, lower fees than banks

It may not appear like it upon first glance, but any financial institution that has the title “credit union” in its name can offer almost any product a “bank” can. That being said, what are the major differences between a credit union and a bank? Here are a few things to know before you open your next bank account or loan.

Easy to join, free checking offered

Credit unions offer membership to people in the community based on their charter. For instance, people who live, work or worship in Travis’ 12-county service area are eligible to open an account! In addition, Travis offer free checking, with no fees associated with maintaining the account as long as your balance doesn’t go negative.

Not-for-profit organization vs. for-profit companies

A credit union’s ultimate goal is to help improve its members’ financial lives. This is done by helping members save on loan rates and earning more on savings rates. While some fees are charged, they are usually lower than banks. In some cases, there are no fees involved. That’s because credit unions operate to benefit their membership base, not to increase their profit margin for bank shareholders.

Surcharge-free ATMs tied together by CO-OP network

Many credit unions are partners in the CO-OP Network, a credit union-owned network of ATMs and banking services which allow members to use another financial institution’s ATMs for free. In a June 2015 comparison, the CO-OP’s 30,000-plus ATMs was 12,000 more than Chase’s 18,000-nationwide ATM network. Look for a CO-OP Network ATM while traveling so you don’t incur any unforeseen surcharges. Find your nearby branch or download our Mobile App (for Apple or Android) to find a surcharge free CO-OP ATM near you.

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Credit union members get to vote for board of directors

Each member has an opportunity to vote for the credit union's volunteer board of directors, whereas banks leave the voting up to shareholders interested in only profits. The board sets a credit union’s mission and assesses the performance of the credit union.

Ready to make the jump to Travis Credit Union? Visit our website to find a branch near you today!