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Banks vs. Credit Unions: What’s the Difference?

When you’re member-owned, you’re member-driven. Here are 7 reasons why a credit union could make sense for you.

Your decision of where and how to manage your money is a personal one. Both banks and credit unions keep your deposits safe and they both offer loans as well as provide other financial services. But in recent years, more consumers have been choosing credit unions versus banks. Today, more than 126 million Americans use a credit union. And more than 700,000 of them have chosen Alaska USA Federal Credit Union.

Source: Statista. Updated October 2021.


When you choose a credit union vs a bank, here’s how you’ll benefit.

You Become an Owner of the Credit Union

While a bank is owned by shareholders, a not-for-profit credit union like Alaska USA is owned by its members. That could be you. This means that instead of returning profits to investors, we return those profits to our members in the form of higher dividend rates, lower loan rates, and lower fees.

You’re Treated Like an Owner

Because you’re an owner of the credit union, we’re motivated to give you the best experience possible, through personal, friendly service. Plus, we’ve developed tools and resources to help you learn how to manage your money most effectively. We’re in this together.

You Earn Higher Interest and Pay Lower Fees at a Credit Union vs a Bank

Interested in free checking? Want to earn more on your savings? It all adds up. Like we said earlier, a credit union is a member-owned not-for-profit, meaning you benefit from the credit union's success. This translates to appreciable dividends, discounted loan rates, and low fees overall. The total value of these benefits is no small sum!

Credit Unions Provide the Financial Services You Need

Alaska USA Federal Credit Union offers a wide range of financial services, including checking and savings, credit cards, auto and personal loans, mortgages and real estate loans, insurance products, investment options, and more.

We Keep Your Money Safe

We’re backed by the NCUA, the National Credit Union Administration, which means up to $250,000 per depositor is insured. Plus, we provide fraud alerts and help you learn how to avoid scams.

We’re There When You Need Us

Several Alaska USA branches are open seven days a week. And if you need help after hours, we offer a mobile app, online banking and a Member Service Center that you can call 24/7. If you move out of our service area, you can continue to maintain your accounts with us.

Credit Unions Make a Difference in Your Community

In 2019 Alaska USA Federal Credit Union contributed $706,060 to non-profit organizations in more than 50 communities. Plus, our members donated more than $144,800 to local food banks and to the Alaska USA Foundation, funding services for children, veterans, and active duty armed service members. We provide financial literacy programs to students, and host retirement seminars to help members and families better understand money management.

Did You Know?

It’s easier than ever to become a member of Alaska USA Federal Credit Union. Your physical address will be used to determine membership eligibility. In order to qualify, you must live, work, worship, or go to school in one of the communities we serve. For questions about eligibility, please contact our Member Service Center at 800-525-9094 or

More consumers are choosing credit unions versus banks because a credit union is a cooperative—we’re all in this together. We succeed when you succeed.

Banks vs. Credit Unions: What’s the Difference?

Become part of a credit union today!

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