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There are many credit unions throughout the country that provide competitive rates on deposit accounts. While some credit unions have strict membership requirements, including restrictions to location and occupation, others offer nationwide coverage with easy eligibility terms to qualify. That’s why it’s smart to add credit unions – those that are federally insured with the National Credit Union Administration (NCUA) – to your list of banks when searching for the best savings account to fit your financial needs.
Top yielding savings accounts at banks that are insured by the Federal Deposit Insurance Corp. (FDIC) (many of which are online-only banks) tend to offer higher annual percentage yields (APYs) on their savings accounts, compared with top-yielding credit unions. Because a credit union is a not-for-profit organization owned by its members, you’re likely to get better terms on a deposit account, and more personalized service, than you would at a for-profit bank that answers to shareholders.
Nevertheless, it’s good financial sense to compare rates between banks and credit unions in order to make sure you’re earning a competitive yield. Currently, FDIC-insured banks are offering yields on savings accounts of more than 5 percent APY, while credit unions offer yields on their savings accounts by as much as 3.1 percent APY.
Here are the best credit union savings account rates.
Bankrate’s top picks for the best credit union savings account rates
- Alliant Credit Union: 3.10% APY; $5 minimum deposit to open (daily average balance of $100 to earn APY)
- Pentagon Federal Credit Union: 3.00% APY; $5 minimum deposit to open
- Boeing Employees Credit Union: 0.50% APY*; $5 minimum deposit may apply for accounts opened online
- Randolph-Brooks Federal Credit Union: 0.30% APY; $1 minimum deposit to open
- Delta Community Credit Union: 0.25% APY; $5 minimum deposit to open
- Navy Federal Credit Union: 0.25% APY; $5 minimum deposit to open
- Suncoast Credit Union: 0.25% APY; $5 minimum deposit to open
Note: Annual percentage yields (APYs) shown are as of Nov. 30, 2023. Bankrate’s editorial team updates this information regularly. APYs may have changed since they were last updated and may vary by region for some products.
*6.17 percent APY for the first $500.
A closer look at the best credit union savings account rates
Alliant Credit Union: 3.10% APY; $5 minimum deposit to open ($100 daily average minimum balance to earn APY)
Alliant offers competitive APYs with low minimum balance requirements for CDs. It also has traditional individual retirement account CDs, Roth IRA CDs and SEP IRA CDs.
Membership requirements: Current or retired employees from a business that partners with Alliant Credit Union may be eligible to join. You may also be able to join by belonging to an organization that Alliant Credit Union partners with. You can also qualify to join Alliant Credit Union if you live or are employed in a community near its Chicago headquarters. If those circumstances don’t apply to you, you can make a one-time $5 payment and Alliant Credit Union will donate that money to Foster Care to Success.
Pentagon Federal Credit Union: 3.00% APY; $5 minimum deposit to open
Pentagon Federal Credit Union (PenFed) has a Premium Online Savings account that pays a competitive yield. But you can find higher yields at other banks and credit unions.
PenFed was established in 1935. It has more than 2.8 million members and has its main office in McLean, Virginia.
Membership requirements: Anyone is eligible to apply for PenFed membership. All that’s needed is to open and maintain a savings account with at least $5. Some products may require military affiliation to receive certain benefits.
Boeing Employees’ Credit Union: 0.50% APY; $5 minimum deposit to open may be required online
Boeing Employees’ Credit Union (BECU) has a Member Advantage Savings where members can earn 6.17 percent APY on the first $500 of their savings balance. You’ll need both a BECU Member Advantage checking and savings account to be enrolled in monthly electronic statements, and to make at least one transaction every month.
After the first $500, you’ll only earn 0.5 percent APY on the rest of your balance. That’s below the national average APY for savings accounts.
As of June 30, 2023, BECU was the nation’s fourth largest credit union, with more than 1.4 million members.
Membership requirements: Membership is open to Boeing employees as well as residents, employees and business owners in Washington and parts of Idaho and Oregon.
Randolph-Brooks Federal Credit Union: 0.30% APY; $1 minimum deposit to open
The Randolph-Brooks Federal Credit Union’s (RBFCU) savings account only requires a $1 opening minimum deposit. But the account doesn’t pay a competitive yield compared with other banks and credit unions. RBFCU’s CDs pay more competitive yields than its savings account.
RBFCU, the largest credit union based in Texas, has CDs with terms ranging from six months to seven years. It also offers a Really Free Checking account that requires no minimum balance and charges no monthly fee.
Randolph-Brooks Federal Credit Union is headquartered in Live Oak, Texas, and operates more than 60 branches serving four major markets in the state: Austin, Corpus Christi, Dallas-Fort Worth and San Antonio. It has more than 1 million members.
Membership requirements: Where you live, attend school, work or worship are some of the ways to become a member at Randolph-Brooks Federal Credit Union. Visiting the credit union’s website or calling (210) 945-3300 are ways to inquire about membership. You might qualify for membership via the Texas PTA for less than $5.
Delta Community Credit Union: 0.25% APY, $5 minimum deposit
Members of Delta Community Credit Union only need $5 to open a savings account. But Delta Community Credit Union’s savings account pays a yield that’s below the national average. However, Delta Community’s CDs pay a competitive yield.
Delta Community Credit Union began as the Delta Employees Credit Union in 1940. It was started by eight Delta Air Lines employees. Delta Community Credit Union has more than 400,000 members and has 26 branches in metro Atlanta and three branches outside of Georgia.
Membership requirements: Membership is primarily open to those living in Georgia. Current, former and retired employees (and their families) of 134 businesses listed on Delta Community Credit Union’s website are also eligible. Members of 14 associations on the credit union’s website are also eligible to become members.
Navy Federal Credit Union: 0.25% APY; $5 minimum deposit to open
Navy Federal Credit Union members only need $5 to open a share savings account. But the savings account pays a yield that below the national average.
Unlike its savings account, Navy Federal’s CDs generally pay a competitive yield.
With more than 13 million members, Navy Federal Credit Union is the world’s largest credit union. In addition to CDs, Navy Federal Credit Union also offers checking and savings accounts, loans and credit cards.
Membership requirements: Membership at Navy Federal Credit Union is open to all Department of Defense employees, contractors and civilian retirees as well as veterans and active-duty service members in any branch of the armed forces.
Suncoast Credit Union: 0.25% APY; $5 minimum deposit to open
Suncoast Credit Union’s regular share savings account only requires $5 to open it, but it pays an APY that’s below the national average yield.
Suncoast Credit Union’s money market account paid a yield more than four times the credit union’s savings yield, as of Nov. 13.
Suncoast Credit Union was started in 1934 as Hillsborough County Teachers Credit Union. Suncoast Credit Union is the largest credit union in Florida, and in early 2022 it surpassed 1 million members.
Membership requirements: People who attend school, live, work or worship in a county in Florida that Suncoast Credit Union serves are welcome to join.
Finding the best credit union savings rates
It’s worth taking the time to investigate the types and terms of savings accounts offered at either your local credit union (if you have one) or at a federal credit union with nationwide reach in which you qualify for membership.
Because credit unions are not-for-profit and member-owned, profits are returned to members, resulting in higher APYs and reduced fees, according to the NCUA.
In addition to savings accounts, consider money market accounts. Navy Federal Credit Union’s savings account, for example, only yields 0.25 percent APY. But its money market account offers a 0.95 percent APY on balances of at least $2,500 and 2.25 percent APY on balances of at least $1 million.
Credit union savings FAQs
Credit unions are not-for-profit organizations. Their profits are given back to its owner members, usually as a dividend.
Banks, however, are for-profit organizations, and many banks are publicly traded and owned.
Each credit union has different membership requirements. You might be able to qualify for credit union membership based on where you live, work or worship. Check the credit union’s website to see its eligibility requirements. You can research credit unions using the NCUA’s Research a Credit Union search.
Methodology for Bankrate’s Best Rates
At Bankrate, we strive to help you make smarter financial decisions. We follow strict guidelines to ensure that our editorial content is unbiased and not influenced by advertisers. Our editorial team receives no direct compensation from advertisers and our content is thoroughly fact-checked to ensure accuracy.
Bankrate regularly surveys some 70 widely available financial institutions, made up of the biggest banks and credit unions, as well as a number of popular online banks.
To find the best savings accounts, our editorial team analyzes various factors, such as APY, the minimum needed to earn that APY (or to open the savings account) and whether or not it’s broadly available. All of the accounts on this page are insured by the FDIC or by the National Credit Union Share Insurance Fund (NCUSIF).
When selecting the best savings account for you, consider the purpose of the money.
Banks we monitor
These financial institutions are featured in our CD rate research: Alliant Credit Union, Ally Bank, Amerant Bank, America First Credit Union, American Express National Bank, Axos Bank, Bank5 Connect, Bank of America, Barclays, Bask Bank, BB&T, BECU (Boeing Employees Credit Union), Bethpage Federal Credit Union, BMO Harris Bank, Bread Financial (formerly Comenity Direct), BrioDirect, Capital One Bank, Chase Bank, CIBC USA, CIT Bank, Citibank, Citizens, Citizens Bank (Rhode Island), Comerica Bank, Customers Bank, Delta Community Credit Union, Discover Bank, Emigrant Direct, Fifth Third Bank, First Citizens Bank, First Internet Bank, First Technology Federal Credit Union, FNBO Direct, Golden 1 Credit Union, Marcus by Goldman Sachs, Morgan Stanley Private Bank, Huntington National Bank, Investors Bank, KeyBank, Limelight Bank, Live Oak Bank, M&T Bank, MySavingsDirect, Navy Federal Credit Union, NBKC Bank, PenFed Credit Union, PNC Bank, Popular Direct, PurePoint Financial, Quontic Bank, Randolph-Brooks Federal Credit Union, Regions Bank, Salem Five Direct, Sallie Mae Bank, Santander Bank, SchoolsFirst Federal Credit Union, Security Service Federal Credit Union, State Employees’ Credit Union, Suncoast Credit Union, Suntrust Bank, Synchrony Bank, TD Bank, TIAA Bank, Truist Bank, UFB Direct, U.S. Bank, USAA Bank, Vio Bank, VyStar Credit Union, Wells Fargo and Zions Bank.