Credit unions have fewer locations
If you look around, you won't see a credit union on every corner, and you certainly won't see a credit union that has as many physical locations as the big banks. But limited locations may not mean as much as you think, Briotta says.
"A lot of credit unions partner to offer a shared banking network," she says. "That means there are more ATM locations than just the branch, and many of those locations are inside 7-Eleven stores, so getting cash is actually quite convenient, even if you're away from your branch."
Usually, credit union members can take advantage of a shared banking network without incurring fees, Briotta says. But they also can perform additional banking services through sister credit unions.
"It's part of the cooperative nature of a credit union," Briotta says. "Many credit unions will allow members of other credit unions to do their banking at their locations."