Credit Union FAQs
- What is a credit union?
A credit union is just like a bank, only better. Like, a million times better. It offers everything a bank offers and more, plus anyone can join.
- What’s the main difference between credit unions and banks?
At credit unions, you’re not treated differently depending on the size of your bank account, your age, or your credit history. Every member becomes a shareholder – that means equal share, equal vote, and equal say.
Credit unions are member-focused and community minded. They’re not just about profit, which means the money they make is shared with local communities and members like you.
- Do credit unions offer the same products as banks?
Absolutely. Credit unions are proud to offer exceptional personalized services and competitive interest rates along with a wide range of financial products designed to complement a variety of member needs.
These include: chequing and savings accounts, credit cards, ATM cards, student loans, mortgages, RRSPs, financial planning, and much more.
- What are the benefits of joining a credit union?
When you join a credit union, you become a member and an owner. You’re more important than the size of your wallet and your voice counts. As an automatic shareholder, you get a say in how things are run and where your money goes. You can even run for a position on the Board of Directors.
Friendly, personable customer service is another distinguishing characteristic of credit unions, which routinely rate higher than banks in customer service and satisfaction surveys. When you visit a branch, don’t be surprised if they actually remember your name!
You also get the 24-7 convenience of the second largest ATM network in BC. With your credit union MemberCard®, you can use ATMs in every corner of the province and around the world. Plus, you’ll never get a surcharge when you use a BC credit union ATM.
- Is my money secure with a credit union?
100%. In fact, it’s even more secure than it would be with a bank.
Credit unions offer 100% deposit insurance whereas banks only protect up to $100,000. How’s that for peace of mind?
- How do I become a member?
Visit any credit union near you and sign up to become a member. Find a credit union near you or fill out our simple online form and they'll take it from there. The entire process is quick and easy and you'll be happy you made the switch.
- Do I need to be part of a union to join?
Absolutely not! Anyone can join a credit union.
- Can I use any ATM as a credit union member?
Yes, you can! Plus, even if you used another credit union's ATM in BC, it'll still be surcharge-free. As a member, you have access to over 600 ATMs in BC and over 3,000 ATMs across Canada.
Use our ATM Locator to find the surcharge-free ATMs nearest you.
- Are there accounts specifically for young people?
You bet! Every credit union has its own unique products including many tailored specifically for young adults. Look out for free or low-fee chequing accounts, student credit cards, student loans, and more. For more information, visit a credit union near you or check out their website.
- Do credit unions offer online or mobile banking?
Yes. All BC credit unions offer online banking and many also offer text-based mobile banking. In fact, credit unions in BC were the very first financial institution in BC to introduce mobile banking.
- What do credit unions do with their profit?
Since they’re not just about profit, credit unions use excess earnings to offer members everything from more affordable loans, a higher return on savings, lower fees or new products and services. That means the bigger they grow, the more they give back to their members and our communities.
- What charitable causes do credit unions support?
Whether it's sponsorships that promote social and environmental well-being or funding for hospitals, food banks, and athletic programs - credit unions understand and serve the needs of their communities.
They also continuously invest in the future of British Columbia by awarding annual educational scholarships and bursaries. Over the past few years, BC credit unions have given over $16 million to local communities.
- How do I find the branch closest to me?
Use the Branch and ATM Locator to get started today.