Space Coast Credit Union (SCCU) was originally chartered in 1951 as Patrick Air Force Base Credit Union. The original targeted membership was military personnel stationed at the base. As the area's member demographic expanded, the organization changed its name to reflect this expansion. At present, Space Coast Credit Union serves over 290,000 with 58 branches, and its membership is available to those living or working on Florida's east coast. Membership to Space Coast Credit Union gives individuals and businesses access to a comprehensive portfolio of financial products at competitive rates. Included in the credit union's portfolio are saving/checking accounts, mortgages, auto, business, and personal loans, as well as Visa debit or credit cards. SCCU offers its members a choice of four cards - the Platinum, Student, and Secured Visa cards.
- Geographic boundaries for membership includes 14 counties
- No annual fee for any of Space Coast Credit Union's credit cards
- Platinum Visa offers cash back rewards
- Regular introductory APR special promotions offered by SCCU
Geographic Boundaries for Membership Includes 14 Counties
Rather than restrict the geographic boundaries for membership, Space Coast Credit Union has one of the largest areas of many of its competitors, other credit unions. In order to be a member of Space Coast Credit Union, one must live or work in one of the following counties in eastern Florida:
- Indian River
- Palm Beach
- St. Johns
- St. Lucie
No Annual Fee for any of Space Coast Credit Union's Credit Cards
While there are a growing number of banks and credit unions that offer cards with no annual fee, this is less common for credit unions. Generally, at least one of the credit cards offered by a credit union includes an annual fee, most often one that is designed to build/rebuild credit, or a student card. Space Coast Credit Union does not charge annual fees for any of their three credit cards, two of which are designed for those needing to build/rebuild credit.
Platinum Visa Offers Cash Back Rewards
A popular feature that is desirable to many in a credit card is one that gives cash back on purchases or rewards points for purchases made with the card. Space Coast Credit Union offers its members a cash back rewards card. This card earns cash back based upon the members' member level. This is the only card that is not designed to build or rebuild credit, so it is the standard card offered to members wanting a credit card who demonstrate acceptable levels of creditworthiness.
Regular Introductory APR Special Promotions Offered by SCCU
Prospective members are often offered a special introductory annual percentage rate when they open a new credit card account in the industry. Commonly seen are no-fee or no interest on balance transfers, or a lower interest rate for a span of time. Space Coast Credit Union offers its members similar promotions. At the writing of this review in January 2017, the credit union offered a zero percent initial interest rate for new purchases for six months, after which the interest rate is changed to the standard APR, currently 10.99 to 17.99 percent. For the Student and Secured cards, the initial promotional rate is 5.99 percent.
- Base initial APR is higher than those offered by many credit unions
- Limited number of credit card choices for members
Base Initial APR is Higher than those Offered by Many Credit Unions
One of the biggest benefits for members of credit unions, which are often runs as a not-for-profit financial cooperative is that they pay lower rates for their products than if they went to a large for-profit bank. The initial interest rates for members of Space Coast Credit Union are lower than most banks, but not as significantly as those for many of the top-performing credit unions in the country, with initial APRs as low as 6 to 8 percent for their credit card products. At the writing of this review, SCCU's base APR for its Platinum Visa credit card is 10.99 to 17.99 percent. Student and Secured Visas have a base rate of 17.99 percent. This rate, while lower than many large banks, is closer to the average base APR for banks than that for credit unions in the industry.
Limited Number of Credit Card Choices for Members
Offering student and secured cards is becoming more the norm for credit unions, but most institutions offer their members more choices for those who do not have credit challenges. The absence of a points-for-purchases option is also unusual among similar credit unions.
The Bottom Line
Those living along the east coast of Florida can find credit card products from Space Coast Credit Union. The institution's offerings of cards is less than many of its competitors, with the absence of a points-for-purchase rewards card in its portfolio. Those who already members of the credit union will likely be satisfied with the credit union's credit cards; however, few will join the credit union solely for the purpose of getting one of its credit cards.