Consumers Credit Union Review: Checking, Savings, CD, Money Market and IRA Accounts

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Updated on Wednesday, July 1, 2020

Consumers Credit Union’s checking account options

Free Checking account

Consumers Credit Union’s Free Checking account offers a standard range of basic checking services in a free wrapper, but it doesn’t pay any interest.
  • Minimum opening deposit: $0
  • Monthly account maintenance fee: $0
  • ATM fee: $0, but $1 for every ATM withdrawal exceeding six per month
  • ATM fee refund: None
  • Overdraft fee: $30, or $10 if signed up for automatic transfer of funds to cover overdrafts

The Free Checking account is a straightforward option for banking clients who need basic checking account access, but don’t want to pay any fees. Although the account doesn’t earn any interest, it has no minimum balance requirements and provides a number of free features and benefits, including the following:

  • Online and mobile banking access
  • Unlimited check writing
  • Online bill pay
  • Mobile pay via a linked debit card using Google Pay, Apple Pay or Samsung Pay
  • Mobile remote deposit of checks via smartphone

The Free Checking account carries a steep overdraft fee, but that can be reduced by signing up for transfers from a backup funding account. ATM access is available via debit card, and withdrawals up to six times per month are free of charge.

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on Consumers Credit Union (IL)’s secure website

Student Choice Checking

This account is designed for younger customers from 13 to 17 years old. Accounts must be opened jointly with a parent or guardian who is legally responsible for all account activity.
  • Minimum opening deposit: $0
  • Monthly account maintenance fee: $0; $10 if maintained after age 19 and not converted to a Rewards Checking account
  • ATM fee: $0, but $1 for every ATM withdrawal exceeding six per month
  • ATM fee refund: Up to $25 per month
  • Overdraft fee: No overdrafts allowed

Consumers Credit Union’s Student Choice checking account is a starter account for minors, who must open the account with a designated adult.

Daily debit card withdrawals are limited to $310. No checks are included and no overdrafts are allowed. However, the account does provide a generous up to $25 maximum ATM fee monthly rebate for non-network ATMs, and it allows minors to apply for a Visa credit card through the account.

Other benefits include free electronic statements and online banking. As with the Free Checking account, however, no interest is paid on the Student Choice checking account.

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on Consumers Credit Union (IL)’s secure website

Free Rewards Checking

The Consumers Free Rewards checking account pays high rates of interest on smaller balances, but it has a complicated, multi-tier structure.
Tier A
APYMinimum Balance to Earn APY
4.09%
$0
0.20%
$20,000.01
0.10%
$25,000.01
Tier B
APYMinimum Balance to Earn APY
3.09%
$0
0.20%
$15,000.01
0.10%
$25,000.01
Tier C
APYMinimum Balance to Earn APY
2.09%
$0
0.20%
$10,000.01
0.10%
$25,000.01
  • Minimum opening deposit: $0
  • Monthly account maintenance fee: $0
  • ATM fee: $0, if basic service requirements met
  • ATM fee refund: Unlimited, if basic service requirements met
  • Overdraft fee: $30, or $10 if signed up for automatic transfer of funds to cover overdrafts

Free Rewards account holders can earn high rates of interest but must clear certain hurdles earn the best rates. To qualify for Tier C, customers must ensure that each month, the following occurs:

  • Complete at least 12 debit/check card point-of-sale purchases of any amount (must be made without the use of a PIN code and must clear and post as a credit transaction by the end of the month)
  • Receive one direct deposit, pay one bill using the credit union’s online bill pay service, or make one ACH debit
  • Access online banking at least once
  • Receive bank correspondence (such as statements and notices) via the eDocuments service

Tier B customers must complete all of the above every month, and also spend $500 or more in Consumers Credit Union Visa credit card purchase transactions. Customers who spend $1,000 or more monthly on their Consumers Credit Union Visa credit card are bumped up to Tier A.

On top of the enhanced interest payments, the Free Rewards checking account offers the following additional benefits:

  • Reimbursement for any and all ATM fees, if Tier C or higher requirements are met
  • Online banking and bill pay
  • Mobile banking
  • No minimum balance requirement
  • No monthly maintenance fees
  • Unlimited check writing

If Tier C or higher requirements are not met, customers lose the fee reimbursement provision and are only paid interest at a 0.01% APY. To help customers keep on track, the credit union offers a service that shows activity such as monthly debit transactions and Visa spending.

How to open Consumers Credit Union’s checking accounts

As noted earlier, Consumers Credit Union has an online application for its flagship Free Rewards Checking account. Customers looking to open a Free Checking or Student Choice account can visit a branch or call the customer service line at (877) 275-2228.

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on Consumers Credit Union (IL)’s secure website

NCUA Insured

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How Consumers Credit Union’s checking accounts compare

Consumers Credit Union offers a no-frills Free Checking account, but since the enhanced Free Rewards Checking account has no monthly maintenance fee, it would generally be the better choice. This is particularly true for account holders who can meet the credit union’s activity requirements — these actions make the interest rate rise dramatically.

The best rates that the credit union offers not only smash the national average rate, they easily top the best national checking rates offered by competitors. The primary downside is that the rates paid are limited to deposits of no more than $20,000.

Consumers Credit Union’s savings account options

Membership Share Savings account

The Membership Share Savings account is Consumers Credit Union’s traditional savings account.
APYMinimum Balance to Earn APY
0.05%
$5
  • Minimum opening deposit: $5
  • Monthly account maintenance fee: $0
  • ATM fee: $0, but $1 for every ATM withdrawal exceeding six per month
  • ATM fee refund: None
  • Overdraft fee: $30, or $10 if signed up for automatic transfer of funds to cover overdrafts

A $5 deposit into a new Consumers Credit Union Membership Share Savings account is mandatory for any customers who want to be members of the credit union.

As required by Federal Reserve Regulation D, you are limited to up to six certain transactions each month from Consumers Credit Union’s Membership Share Savings or money market account. The credit union will assess a $5 fee for each additional transaction. Your account may also be closed, at the discretion of the institution.

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on Consumers Credit Union (IL)’s secure website

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Christmas Savings account

The Christmas Savings account has limited access until the holiday period every year, but it does pay interest.
APYMinimum Balance to Earn APY
0%
$5
  • Minimum opening deposit: $5
  • Monthly account maintenance fee: $0
  • ATM fee: n/a
  • ATM fee refund: n/a
  • Overdraft fee: n/a

The Christmas Savings account pays a higher interest rate than the credit union’s Membership Share Savings account, but funds must remain on deposit in the account from Nov. 1 through Oct. 31 of the following year, at which point money is automatically transferred into the account holder’s Membership Share Savings account.

The account requires a new $5 minimum deposit every year and automatically renews.

How to open Consumers Credit Union’s savings accounts

The credit union has a single online application for its accounts. Customers looking to open a Membership Share Savings or Christmas Savings account can also visit a branch or call the customer service line at (877) 275-2228

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on Consumers Credit Union (IL)’s secure website

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How Consumers Credit Union’s savings accounts compare

Consumers Credit Union’s savings accounts pay low interest rates. The primary savings account doesn’t even match the national average savings account rate, and it falls far below the highest online savings rates available, The Christmas Savings account has a better-than-average rate, but it too is no comparison to the best available at other institutions. The accounts do come free of any monthly maintenance fees, but they don’t provide any exceptional services or payouts.

Consumers Credit Union’s CD rates

Regular CDs

TermAPYMinimum Balance to Earn APY
91 days0.35%
$250
6 months0.45%
$250
1 year0.50%
$250
15 months*2.75%
$250
18 months0.50%
$250
2 years0.55%
$250
30 months0.60%
$250
3 years0.65%
$250
45 months*3.25%
$250
4 years0.70%
$250
5 years0.75%
$250
* indicates a promotional rate
  • Minimum opening deposit: $250
  • Minimum balance amount to earn APY: $250
  • Early withdrawal penalty: for terms of one year or less, 60 days’ dividends; for terms of longer than one year, 120 days’ dividends

Consumers Credit Union’s CDs range in maturity from 91 days to 5 years, with rates guaranteed for the duration of the term. After a minimum deposit of $250, dividends are compounded daily and posted monthly. Promotional rates are offered in the 15 month and 45 month maturities. Withdrawing funds before CDs mature will trigger an early withdrawal penalty of between 60 and 120 days’ worth of dividends.

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on Consumers Credit Union (IL)’s secure website

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Jumbo CDs

Consumers Credit Union’s Jumbo CDs match the maturity schedule as the credit union’s regular CDs, but rates may vary.
TermAPYMinimum Balance to Earn APY
91 days0.35%
$100,000
6 months0.45%
$100,000
1 year0.60%
$100,000
15 months*2.85%
$100,000
18 months0.60%
$100,000
2 years0.65%
$100,000
30 months0.70%
$100,000
3 years0.75%
$100,000
45 months*3.35%
$100,000
4 years0.80%
$100,000
5 years0.85%
$100,000
*indicates a promotional rate
  • Minimum opening deposit: $100,000
  • Minimum balance amount to earn APY: $100,000
  • Early withdrawal penalty: for terms of one year or less, 60 days’ dividends; for terms of longer than one year, 120 days’ dividends

Customers with $100,000 or more to invest have access to the credit union’s jumbo certificate rates, which are higher for some maturities than the credit union’s regular certificate accounts. Promotional rates are offered for the same 15 and 45 month maturities as Consumers Credit Union’s regular CDs. Dividends are credited daily and posted monthly, with rates guaranteed for the life of the CD.

How to get Consumers Credit Union’s certificate rates

Consumers Credit Union has one online application for all account types, including regular and jumbo CDs.

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How Consumers Credit Union’s CD rates compare

Although Consumers Credit Union offers additional interest on some CD maturities for jumbo deposits, the bump in rates isn’t particularly noteworthy. The best rates in Consumers Credit Union’s CDs are available on the two promotional maturities of 15 and 45 months, on both the regular and jumbo CDs. Overall, rates at Consumers Credit Union are far above the national average CD rates, and while these rates don’t approach the best CD rates available nationally, they are respectable. Early withdrawal penalties are fairly standard.

Consumers Credit Union’s money market account option

Money Market account

This account is Consumers Credit Union’s version of a traditional money market account, with larger balances earning higher interest rates.
APYMinimum Balance to Earn APY
0.15%
$2,000
0.15%
$20,000
0.25%
$40,000
0.25%
$70,000
0.35%
$100,000
  • Minimum opening deposit: $0
  • Minimum balance to earn APY: $2,000+ (see above table)
  • Monthly account maintenance fee: $0
  • ATM fee: n/a
  • ATM fee refund: n/a
  • Overdraft fee: $30, or $10 if signed up for automatic transfer of funds to cover overdrafts

Consumers Credit Union’s Money Market account pays a higher rate than the credit union’s savings account, but offers more access than its CDs. Rates are tiered, with the highest APY paid for balances of $100,000 or more.

Federal Reserve Regulation D requires that an account classified as a “savings deposit” must not permit more than six transfers or withdrawals per month. In the case of Consumers Credit Union, account holders will be assessed a fee of $5 per instance each time they exceed that limit — in some cases, the credit union may close the account in response to excess withdrawals. The account has no ATM access.

How to get Consumers Credit Union’s money market account

As noted earlier, Consumers Credit Union has one online application for all account types, including the money market account.

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on Consumers Credit Union (IL)’s secure website

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How Consumers Credit Union’s money market account compares

Consumers Credit Union’s sole money market account is just about average when it comes to interest rates. Deposits below $20,000 earn less than the national average for money market accounts, while deposits of $100,000 or more earn about double the national average. Rates for all tiers fall well short of the highest available money market rates at other banks. On the plus side, the account carries no monthly maintenance fee.

Consumers Credit Union’s IRA rates

IRA CDs

Consumers Credit Union pays the same rates on its IRA CDs as it does on its non-IRA accounts. Jumbo certificates are available in the credit union’s IRAs as well.

Regular IRA CDs

TermAPYMinimum Balance to Earn APY
91 days0.35%
$250
6 months0.45%
$250
1 year0.50%
$250
15 months*2.75%
$250
18 months0.50%
$250
2 years0.55%
$250
30 months0.60%
$250
3 years0.65%
$250
45 months*3.25%
$250
4 years0.70%
$250
5 years0.75%
$250
*indicates promotional rates
  • Minimum opening deposit: $250
  • Minimum balance amount to earn APY: $250
  • Early withdrawal penalty: For terms of one year or less, 60 days’ dividends; for terms of longer than one year, 120 days’ dividends

Consumers Credit Union’s IRA CDs follow the same format as the credit union’s non-IRA CDs. Minimum deposits are $250, and rates vary over the 91 day to 5 year maturity schedule. Higher rates are paid for the promotional maturities of 15 and 45 months. Early withdrawal penalties apply, at a cost of either 60 days’ or 120 days’ worth of dividends.

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on Consumers Credit Union (IL)’s secure website

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Jumbo IRA CDs

TermAPYMinimum Balance to Earn APY
91 days0.35%
$100,000
6 months0.45%
$100,000
1 year0.60%
$100,000
15 months*2.85%
$100,000
18 months0.60%
$100,000
2 years0.65%
$100,000
30 months0.70%
$100,000
3 years0.75%
$100,000
45 months*3.35%
$100,000
4 years0.80%
$100,000
5 years0.85%
$100,000
*indicates promotional maturities
  • Minimum opening deposit: $100,000
  • Minimum balance amount to earn APY: $100,000
  • Early withdrawal penalty: For terms of one year or less, 60 days’ dividends; for terms of longer than one year, 120 days’ dividends

For IRA customers with at least $100,000 to invest, jumbo CDs are available in Consumers Credit Union’s IRA products. Rates are higher for some maturities than the credit union’s regular IRA CDs. Promotional rates are available for maturities of 15 and 45 months. Dividends are credited daily and posted monthly.

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on Consumers Credit Union (IL)’s secure website

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IRA Money Market account

Rates for the Consumers Credit Union IRA Money Market account are the same as the credit union’s regular money market account.
APYMinimum Balance to Earn APY
0.15%
$2,000
0.15%
$20,000
0.25%
$40,000
0.25%
$70,000
0.35%
$100,000
  • Minimum opening deposit: $0
  • Minimum balance to earn APY: $2,000+ (see table above)
  • Monthly account maintenance fee: $0
  • ATM fee: $0
  • ATM fee refund: n/a
  • Overdraft fee: $30, or $10 if signed up for automatic transfer of funds to cover overdrafts from IRA Savings account

Consumers Credit Union’s IRA Money Market account has the same interest rates as its non-IRA money market account. It pays more than the credit union’s IRA savings account, but for the most part, rates are lower than its IRA CD rates. Tiered rates pay the highest APY on balances of $100,000 or more. There is no ATM access with this account.

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on Consumers Credit Union (IL)’s secure website

NCUA Insured

IRA Savings

The IRA Savings account pays the same interest rate on all balances above the minimum.
APYMinimum Balance to Earn APY
0.25%
$10
  • Minimum opening deposit: $10
  • Minimum balance to earn APY: $10
  • Monthly account maintenance fee: $0
  • ATM fee: n/a
  • ATM fee refund: n/a
  • Overdraft fee: $30, or $10 if signed up for automatic transfer of funds to cover overdrafts from IRA Money Market

The IRA Savings account at Consumers Credit Union is an interest-bearing account for cash that is not invested elsewhere, such as in the credit union’s CDs. The same rate is paid for every deposit above the account minimum of $10. There are no monthly fees with this savings account.

How to get Consumers Credit Union’s IRA rates

Consumers Credit Union requires applicants for IRA products to call (877) 275-2228 or visit a branch. No online application is available for an IRA product at the credit union.

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on Consumers Credit Union (IL)’s secure website

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How Consumers Credit Union’s IRA rates compare

Rates for the money market and CD accounts in the credit union’s IRAs are the same as in the credit union’s non-IRA accounts. For the latter, this means that, overall, they are far above the national average CD rates, but well below the best IRA CD rates available nationally. Jumbo CD deposits earn slightly higher rates, but the promotional terms of 15 and 45 months are where investors will find the best rates at Consumers Credit Union. Rates are the same regardless of the size of deposit, with the exception of some jumbo maturities.

The credit union’s IRA savings account pays a modest amount of interest, above the national average savings rate.

Overall review of Consumers Credit Union’s banking products

Consumers Credit Union offers a mixed bag of banking options for customers. The clear highlight of the credit union’s entire roster is its Rewards Checking account, which pays an outstanding rate for balances of up to $20,000. However, the multi-tier structure of the account can be confusing, and it can take some doing to earn the best rate. For determined savers, however, it can be hard to find a better rate at any institution across the country.

The credit union also does well with its promotional CD rates, although they only come in two maturities. Other CD rates are respectable, but not noteworthy.

Beyond that, Consumers Credit Union’s other offerings are lackluster, with the savings accounts paying below-market rates and the money market account not leaping to new heights either.

Overall, Consumers Credit Union offers a wide range of products with low or no fees, which can be appealing to many consumers. With the exception of the exceptional flagship checking rate, however, better options can likely be found at other institutions.

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