Credit Unions don’t get as much coverage as traditional banks and part of the reason is there is no incentive to cover Credit Unions. Credit Unions don’t pay for referrals, they are not set up that way. But then, for those who are members of a Credit Union, this is like an awesome secret others don’t know about! I discovered this secret 10 years back and I’m going to let you in on this. You can decide if Credit Unions are right for you. Though this post is about DCU, this gives an idea as to what to expect from Credit Unions.
Surprisingly, one of the reasons people prefer local banks is free access to ATMs. While it is true that Credit Unions don’t offer as many ATMs as a local bank, most Credit Unions provide a compromise. DCU offers up to $5 or $10 ATM surcharge reimbursement when using a non DCU ATM. You can always use DCU check card and get cash back which is surcharge free.
Free Checks For Life!
Yep! Not the first box of checks, but checks forever are free. Checking account carries no minimum requirements.
This comes with free check card as well.
Free Online Check Images
A year’s worth of check images, both back and front for free. This is a very useful feature, especially when you need proof that a check was processed and ‘money gone’ is not proof enough!
Instant, Mobile Check Deposit With Your IPhone or Android
Check deposits are yet another reason most people think having a local bank is important. Guess what? At DCU, you don’t have to leave your couch to deposit your check and the money is made available almost instantly. Here’s how it works: Take a picture of the check you would like to deposit with either your iPhone or Android phone, enter check amount and deposit account and send. How cool is that! (You can also do an instant deposit if you have a scanner and a PC/Mac. If you have neither, you can request DCU for pre-paid check deposit envelopes or drop your checks in a in-network ATM)
Online Bill Pay
DCU has a top notch Bill Pay option. I’ve been using this feature for a long time and DCU hasn’t messed up one single payment. Oh, it’s free.
Solid Online Experience
I love DCUs online experience. Not fancy, but very functional.
Free FICO credit score
DCU recently started offering free FICO credit scores to all its members. I think this is an awesome feature. No monthly or annual fees.
Free FinanceWorks From Quicken
This is pretty much like Mint. I use both and don’t have a preference of one over another. I use Mint only to track my portfolio and use Quicken for other accounts!
I have nothing but good things to say about DCU customer service. They respond to emails fairly quickly and phone calls are answered without long wait times.
How To Join?
DCU also has auto, realty, insurance, mortgage refinance and credit services. I don’t actively use them, so I’m a little hesitant writing about them. But the rates are quite competitive – at least for auto and mortgages.
Though I’ve been with DCU for a very long time, I’ve never been to a physical branch! I use it as an online bank and so far, found no reason to visit a branch. I actually can’t visit a branch as I don’t even live in the same state!
What are your experiences with your bank? Is there any service traditional banks provide that a CU can’t or won’t provide? What are your thoughts?