Personal Finance

How Many Credit Union Memberships Do You Have?

  • Last Updated:
  • Oct 20th, 2018 5:42 pm

Poll: How many CU's?

  • Total votes: 51. You have voted on this poll.
Zero, only deal with bank(s)
 
19
37%
1-2
 
26
51%
3-4
 
5
10%
5-6
 
0
0%
7-8
 
0
0%
9-10
 
1
2%
11+
 
0
0%
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How Many Credit Union Memberships Do You Have?

Inspired by how many CC's thread, the recent spike in interest in CU's on RFD and just for fun, how many credit unions have you joined or are you a member of so far?

In the thread, please answer:
  • how many CU's are in-province or OOP for you
  • what you value in each of these CU's
  • describe how easy it was to join each one
  • whether you churn the CU memberships
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So far...
  • got two in-province (DUCA & Meridian) and two in MB (SCU & Achieva)
  • DUCA for HISA lottery, Meridian for WB, SCU for TFSA, Achieva for the referrals/WB, the $1/month for e-statements, and the ability to keep minimum balance in TFSA
  • DUCA & Achieva mobile chq deposit (DUCA via web browser, Achieva via mobile app), SCU & Meridian via e-transfer. Insanely easy. Skipping Hubert for now because they insist on snail-mail to open account
  • May churn Meridian, undecided for now. Depends on whether I'll grab their CBI card
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Mar 21, 2010
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Three:
  • DUCA - my first one, that I don't really use much anymore.
  • Alterna (Bank, but I'm counting it as a CU due to it basically being the same as Alterna Savings) - eSavings account that is essentially my main bank account these days. I can pay all my bills directly from here, my pay is automatically deposited and it earns a decent amount of interest without needing to move it here, there and everywhere. Simple and convenient.
  • Meridian - mostly used for their CBI credit card. Also because they gave me free socks when they were doing the opening promo for their North York branch.
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Manatus wrote:
Sep 25th, 2018 10:18 am
[*] Meridian - mostly used for their CBI credit card. Also because they gave me free socks when they were doing the opening promo for their North York branch.
What kind of socks were they? I didn't get socks...

I only have one: Meridian. I'm with them only because of the Cash Back Infinite Visa. I was aiming for that free $100 when opening a high interest account with them too, but I joined just as that deal expired.
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Piro21 wrote:
Sep 25th, 2018 5:11 pm
What kind of socks were they? I didn't get socks...
The first week that the new branch at the Sheppard Centre was open, they did some in-branch promos. You got a pair of Cole Haan socks (the tag said they were $15.99 I think, so clearly not my usual Costco clearance special socks) just for listening to their spiel. You also could "win" money in some game that you received by opening an account there and depositing a matching amount.
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Two (I don't count Alterna Bank)

1st Choice Savings
Implicity

If you want your local credit union to be able to compete, consider purchasing common or preferred shares if or made available. In some cases, credit unions do pay good dividends on them. Honestly, there can be better investments, but for myself, I want to support my home credit union in Alberta so they stay in small communities and continue to support small business and farmers in my hometown. Of course, I don't put all my money there but I try to make an effort to make a small common share purchase each year.
Support your local Credit Union!

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Member of three credit unions.

2003 joined Vancity (BC). Has been my main FI ever since. Love the free unlimited chequing for only minimum $1,000 balance.
2018 joined Meridian (Ontario) just to get their credit card. Easy to join online.
2018 joined Coast Capital (BC) for 4% 33-month GIC promo. Visited branch to join and buy GIC.
Last edited by Kiraly on Sep 25th, 2018 7:23 pm, edited 1 time in total.
18% = GTA residents as a proportion of Canada's total population
97% = chance that an RFDer lives in the GTA when he posts something location specific, without giving a location

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titaniumtux wrote:
Sep 25th, 2018 7:23 pm
No 5+ CU memberships? I guess RFD hasn't sold us on enough credit unions yet Thinking Face
Is there really a need to? In most cases, it's much harder to open so many memberships and you can't open them if you are out of province in general.
Most of the Manitoba institutions don't play the promo interest rate game, so one is generally plenty, and really the others play on lowering fees so if you have an unlimited account to begin with, there isn't much need for others.
Support your local Credit Union!

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xgbsSS wrote:
Sep 25th, 2018 7:42 pm
Is there really a need to? In most cases, it's much harder to open so many memberships and you can't open them if you are out of province in general.
Most of the Manitoba institutions don't play the promo interest rate game, so one is generally plenty, and really the others play on lowering fees so if you have an unlimited account to begin with, there isn't much need for others.
So far in MB I value SCU, Achieva and I can appreciate Hubert (though the need to snail-mail a cheque for initial funding kills the deal for me). They're not part of musical chairs, but they have good offerings.

I agree that we don't "need" CU's for unlimited no-fee chequing accounts, but it's nice to have. I also agree that there's no need to collect CU memberships just for chequing account overkill, but if it's part of the HISA lottery as well, or your TFSA, or hub for e-Transfers, etc. then doesn't hurt to have.
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Sep 17, 2018
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I'm young, never been interested in a credit union before.

I don't have a lot of money to freely move around / park since I keep most invested, and many of their promotional offers seem to cater to 3-6 month saving terms, and interest in general. I am hardly excited over .5% more on what might only be a couple cents of interest since I move free money immediately into my Questrade account and would almost never take advantage of it.

Any good reasons on why I might want to get with one anyway? Is there an opportunity to potentially secure much better lending rates down the road if I look into joining early and staying a member, compared to the regular big name banks? I found a list of over 50 in Ontario, and one thing I know is that ON unions are backed by some provincial cdic-like assurance which appeals to me, if that means I could potentially start up a membership with a smaller union in hopes of securing something 5+ years down the road as some sort of loyalty early adopter type gimmick, that would get me shopping around. Really so far I only see access to some more ATMs and perhaps free interac's could come in handy, ignoring interest, Simplii would give me similar perks so I am not motivated to join any yet

My experience is that most companies expect you to play the game and chase the rates around without really a care if you stay or go, is entering the world of credit unions going to be any different?
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@ovoovo the only potential advantage to joining a CU earlier than later would be if you could potentially be ineligible down the road for a CU that interests you. DUCA used to accept out of province members, but thanks to the RFD effect, they grew big enough in memberships that they no longer accept those residing outside Ontario. Theoretically, Manitoban CU's could do the same if RFD effect flows that way.

Otherwise, the only other factor is time. Do you have the time to open up accounts all over the place? Some are quick...snap and upload a cheque to your name or send an e-transfer, but some require snail-mailing a cheque and potentially other paperwork. Sometimes life gets busy and we don't have the time to set all this up, no matter how good the deal can be.

Aside that, join what you want when you see value in it.
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titaniumtux wrote:
Sep 25th, 2018 7:23 pm
No 5+ CU memberships? I guess RFD hasn't sold us on enough credit unions yet Thinking Face
current or historical?
Surrey Metro Savings became Coast Capital
Canada Trust became TDCT
VanCity
First Heritage became Envision Financial
Westminster Savings
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ritzcrv wrote:
Sep 25th, 2018 9:55 pm
current or historical?
Surrey Metro Savings became Coast Capital
Canada Trust became TDCT
VanCity
First Heritage became Envision Financial
Westminster Savings
Wasn't Canada Trust just a bank?
I like credit unions. Proud DUCA member!
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I'm only a member of one Credit Union, DUCA. If I were to join another it would be Meridian for their credit card and province wide branch access (if I leave the GTA, there wouldn't be any DUCA branches near me :( ).
I like credit unions. Proud DUCA member!

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