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Patelco Credit Union

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LAST UPDATED: March 19th, 2021

Credit unions have a unique perspective on the financial industry because they are founded with the members in mind instead of solely for the purpose of making money. Patelco Credit Union is no different and using this unique perspective to provide its members with all of the most current financial services and a personalized experience. Since its founding in 1936, Patelco has continually grown and now includes 300,000 members and 36 branches.

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The Good

  • Card options
  • Low APR rates
  • Security measures

Card Options

All consumers have different things that they want out of a credit card. Some would like to build credit, others want rewards from making regular purchases, and then some may need a credit card to help in a negative financial situation. Because of this, it is very beneficial for customers to have several card options to choose from. Patelco Credit Union offers five different card options with a wide range of features to meet as many of these needs as possible. Cards range from fairly basic to more complex.

Low APR Rates

Every credit card has an APR rate attached that determines how much the card holder will have to pay back to the financial institution in interest fees. These rates are ultimately determined by the customer's credit score and other financial factors, but each financial institution that offers credit cards has control over the range of rates offered to customers. Patelco Credit Union offers APRs ranging from 6.45 to 13.40 percent, which are extremely competitive when compared to those offered by other top companies in the industry.

Security Measures

There is a certain level of vulnerability that comes along with being a credit card holder because credit cards are subject to fraud and theft. Fortunately, the cards offered by Patelco Credit Union come with several security features, including identity theft services, Apple Pay, and zero liability.

The Bad

  • High annual fees
  • Restricted reward categories
  • Limited membership

High Annual Fees

Depending on the card, Patelco charges annual fees up to $85 per year just to hold one of its credit cards. There are several other companies in the industry that do not charge any annual fees.  

Restricted Reward Categories

When a customer chooses to use one of Patelco Credit Union's cards (besides the Pure Mastercard), they will earn rewards based on the purchases that they make. Many credit card companies allow customers to choose their own purchase categories, Patelco does not offer this service. Instead, purchase categories are already set. While customers will be able to earn rewards with Patelco cards, they may not earn as many as they could by holding a card from another company that lets them select their own categories.

Limited Membership

Most credit unions were originally formed in order to serve a specific group of people but have grown to allow anyone to be a member. Unfortunately, Patelco Credit Union still has a limited membership enrollment policy. The company's services are only available to individuals living in specific areas in California.

The Bottom Line

Those who are eligible to be members of the Patelco Credit Union will find that the options available to them for credit cards are very satisfactory. These customers will be able to choose from a wide selection of cards with low APRs and security features. However, consumers should keep in mind that Patelco Credit Union does charge relatively high annual fees and does not allow cardholders to choose their own purchase categories for rewards.
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