Mountain America Credit Union was founded in 1934 and operated as the Salt Lake Telephone Employees Credit Union until its merger with the Postal Workers Credit Union in 1984. As the name no longer reflected the membership, the credit union changed its name at that time to Mountain America Credit Union. In 1984, the credit union merged with the Utah State Credit Union and now operates as the second-largest credit union in the state of Utah. The credit union is a comprehensive financial services provider, and members are able to meet their financial needs with products such as checking/savings accounts, mortgages, automobile loans, reverse mortgages, and credit cards.
- Members have widespread ATM/online access to accounts
- Low initial APRs and no annual fees for credit cards
- Rewards Visa card available
- Verified by Visa protection
Members have Widespread ATM/Online Access to Accounts
Members of Mountain America Credit Union have easy access to their account via online banking and over 30,000 ATMs nationwide without surcharges and over 5,000 shared-branching locations.
Low Initial APRs and No Annual Fees for Credit Cards
One of the biggest benefits in holding a Visa by Mountain America Credit Union is that the initial APR is much lower than those for many of its competitors. Rates start at 8.49 percent or 9.49 percent for rewards cards. Compared to other credit unions, the initial APRs are similar. Mountain America Credit Union does not charge annual fees for its cards.
Rewards Visa Card Available
One of the most popular perks of a credit card is the ability to earn points, etc. that are redeemable for rewards, cash back, merchandise, etc. Mountain America Credit Union offers its customers an option for a rewards card with its Mountain America Visa® Platinum Rewards card or the Mountain America Business Debit Card. Those using these cards earn points based on their purchases; personal accounts earn one point per dollar, and those holding the Mountain America Business Debit Card receive one point for every four dollars spent with the card.
Points can be redeemed for a variety of rewards, such as gift cards from popular merchants, restaurants, etc., travel (hotel accommodations, car rentals, cruises, airfare, and vacation packages without blackout dates), tickets to cultural or sporting events, experiences, or even for cash back.
Verified by Visa Protection
All cards issued by Mountain America Credit Union are automatically protected with Verified by Visa, giving cardholders an additional layer of protection for online purchases. When making a purchase from participating online stores, customers are prompted to enter their password before the purchase is completed.
- No free credit monitoring/credit score
- Limited membership eligibility
No Free Credit Monitoring/Credit Score
Many of the larger credit card providers offer their cardholders some form of limited credit monitoring or a credit score as part of their package. Most of the cards offered by credit unions do not include this benefit. While the lack of such a program is not usually enough to dissuade potential cardholders from applying for a credit card from Mountain America Credit Union, it is a nice added benefit to help cardholders track their financial health.
Limited Membership Eligibility
There are several limitations to membership eligibility for Mountain America Credit Union to consider for those interested in becoming a member of the credit union. Eligible parties must either by an employee or volunteer of a Select Employee Group, or SEG, or one of its affiliated organizations or live at the same address as an existing member of Mountain America Credit Union.
Additionally, prospective members may be eligible to join the credit union if they are residents of Salt Lake, Duchesne, and parts of Wasatch or Uintah Counties in Utah. Those living in Wasatch or Uintah counties must live within certain census districts, 940300 for Wasatch and 940100 or 940200 in Uintah County. Verifying eligible based on one's census district can be completed online or at any Mountain America Credit Union branch location. This residence restriction excludes a significant number of individuals in the state of Utah from being members of the credit union.
The Bottom Line
Mountain America Credit Union offers its customers a history of stability, with nearly three-quarters of a decade of service since its inception. The credit union offers its members the opportunity of maintaining all of their financial products with one organization, which is attractive to most.
Compared to other similar organizations, Mountain America Credit Union is slightly more transparent with its terms and conditions for its Visa cards. Of note is the slightly higher initial APR for its rewards card, which starts at 9.49 percent rather than 8.49 percent. Having a higher APR is consistent with many other rewards cards from other institutions, something that many consumers do not necessarily consider significant enough to deter them from the added benefit of earning points for their credit card purchases. In fact, many professional financial advisors recommend that individuals electing to use a rewards card for everyday purchases pay the card's balance in full each month to avoid paying the higher interest rate on their purchases while reaping the rewards offered by the card.