Best 5 Credit Unions and Military Banks

Jan 26, 2024 By Triston Martin

When they help people who serve their country, military banks and credit unions do their best work. Our favourite banks for the military offer a wide range of account options, competitive interest rates, and low fees. The military has problems, such as spending money overseas, long hours, and a lot of travel. Members of the armed forces should look for a bank that gives them free access to online banking from anywhere, low-cost or free transfers, competitive interest rates on savings accounts, and special programs to help them deal with life in the military. Many banks that work with active-duty service members also help veterans and their families. Here are the best military banks and credit unions in 2022-2023:

Navy Federal Credit Union

Money says that the best bank for people in the military is the Navy Federal Credit Union. For $5, you can join the largest credit union in the world and open a savings account. Navy Federal's Prestige Checking account yields 0.35 to 0.45 percent interest, which is higher than many major banks. Members can also get special deals on car rentals, home and car insurance, and more.

Pros

  • The annual percentage rate (APR) for a Basic Savings Account is 0.25%.
  • When you open a checking account, there is no money in it.
  • Out-of-network ATM fees of $120 are reimbursed each year.

Cons

  • In the whole world, there are only about 350 branches.
  • There is a $10 service fee every month for under $1,500.

U.S. Bank

We chose U.S. Bank as the best military rewards bank because it has a lot of benefits and perks for people in the military. When a military member opens a Smartly Checking account at U.S. Bank, they are automatically moved to the Smart Rewards Plus level. This includes complimentary payment orders and cashier's checks, a 50% discount on safe-deposit boxes and personal checks, savings on loan closing expenses, and other benefits.

Pros

  • Every month, the military doesn't have to pay anything.
  • $25 goes in as the first deposit.
  • Discounts on loans, goods, and services.

Cons

  • Only a few branches.
  • No ATM fees paid outside of the network will be refunded.

PenFed (Pentagon Federal) Credit Union

The best choice for high yields is the Premium Online Savings account at PenFed (Pentagon Federal) Credit Union, which pays 1.70 percent interest. Even though that rate isn't as high as some online-only banks, it's still eight times the average rate for the whole country. Users who create an Access America Checking account may earn 0.35% on their funds based on the amount in their account. You can join for $5, even if you're not in the military.

Pros

  • APY of 1.70% on savings accounts and up to 0.35% on checking accounts.
  • The first amount of money in a checking account is $25.
  • Large ATM network.
  • You can get points with a Power Cash Visa card.

Cons

  • You can't get an ATM card without an Online Savings Account.

Chase

We think that Chase is the best big national bank for military people. Customers don't have to pay any fees to send wire transfers or to use an ATM or debit card abroad. They also don't have to pay any foreign exchange fees. Service members and veterans don't have to pay the $25 fee every month, and neither does the bank.

Pros

  • There is no monthly service fee.
  • When you use an ATM or debit card in a different country, there are no fees.
  • At the counter, you can get free cashier checks, money orders, and personal checks.

Cons

  • No ATM support fee refund.
  • The APY is very low at 0.01%.

PNC

We think that the sign-up bonus at PNC Bank is the best of all the banks. New customers can get a $200 bonus when they open a Virtual Wallet with Performance Spend. When a new military member opens a PNC credit card and spends a certain amount, they can get a $100 bonus. PNC gives you a $300 bonus when you open a new VA mortgage with them. Customers in the military who bank at a bank can also get their monthly checking account fee waived by making fewer direct deposits.

Pros

  • You can get extra cash when you open a new account.
  • Starting balance of $25 or $0 if an account is opened online.

Cons

  • The APY is low at 0.01% to 0.04%.

End Lines

There are good and bad things about banks and credit unions, so it depends on what you want from a bank. A good military bank should make it easy for you to access your money, loans, and investments anywhere in the world. It should also give special benefits to military members and their families, such as low-interest loans or high-interest bank accounts.

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