Monthly survey: Credit unions beat banks for
Are you shopping for a new car? How about a better
rate on a credit card or a CD? You can find the best rates by heading
for a credit union, according to the latest credit union, bank and
thrift comparison survey conducted by Bankrate.com.
The charts below are drawn from national averages compiled by Bankrate.com's
researchers, who surveyed the top 50 credit unions, banks and thrifts
in the top U.S. markets. The survey compares average rates on five
standard financial products: new car loans, one-year CDs, money
market accounts, credit cards and 30-year, fixed-rate mortgages.
loan rates dropped across the board this month, and, once again,
credit unions are offering the best deals based on a $16,000, 48-month
loan with 10 percent down. The credit union average of 8.41 percent
will cost $218.40 less over the life of the loan than the average
bank rate of 9.01 percent. Thrifts are placing a very close second
to credit unions. The 8.54 percent average rate thrifts are charging
will cost only $47.52 more than the credit union rate over the 48-month
you're adding a one-year CD to your portfolio, the average credit
union yield in this month's survey is 4.30 percent. Not bad when
the national average is 3.64 percent. Thrifts are also beating the
national average with a 3.94 percent yield, but banks are lagging
with a paltry 3.33 percent. As you might expect with the Fed busy
cutting rates, CD yields at credit unions, thrifts and banks are
down again this month.
the "something's better than nothing" category, the yields
on money market accounts have dropped this month, but credit unions
continue offering the highest average yield. This month's survey
has credit unions offering an average 2.74 percent vs. a miniscule
1.45 percent average at banks. Thrifts are willing to fork over
an average 2.04 percent for your money market account.
you're shopping for a credit card, stop by the credit union. Their
average 12.97 percent rate is almost 2 percent less than the average
14.88 percent a bank will charge, and it's more than 2.5 percent
less than the 15.60 percent average thrifts are demanding.
category is the exception to the "credit unions offer better
rates" rule. Thrifts take first place again this month when
it comes to the 30-year fixed rate mortgage. Rates have dropped
a couple basis points across the board, but thrifts are on average
offering 7.07 percent compared to 7.16 percent for credit unions
and 7.17 percent for banks. The loan is for $125,000 with 20 percent
Over the life of the mortgage, the thrift rate will
save you $3,038.40 over the bank rate. You'll keep an extra $2,732.40
in your checkbook if you take out a mortgage with a thrift instead
of a credit union.
Bankrate researchers Delia Cardona, Eva Garcia,
Janie Maldonado, Karen Quintana and Brooks Kelly contributed to
-- Posted: July 24, 2001