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Alaska USA Federal Credit Union

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1 User Review
LAST UPDATED: March 9th, 2021

Alaska USA Federal Credit Union is a not-for-profit; member-owned credit union that was chartered in 1948 at the Alaska Air Depot in Anchorage, when Alaska was still a territory. The 15 founding members felt that local financial institutions were not adequately meeting the credit needs of the federal civil service personnel who had been transferred to Alaska. Alaska USA Federal Credit Union started from humble beginnings when those 15 members began pooling their savings and extending credit to one another while volunteering their time to operate the credit union.

Today, Alaska USA is a full-service financial institution that provides members with competitive rates on loans and deposits as well as low fees for services. With a full range of financial services, members have everything in one place, including checking and savings accounts, consumer loans, and credit cards. In a growing number of locations, Alaska USA also offers business services, commercial and personal insurance, and real estate loans, as well as mortgage loans by Alaska USA Mortgage Company. Alaska USA serves members in all 50 states, including Washington D.C.

Continue reading for a complete review of this credit union.

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The Good

  • Variety of Account Options
  • Low Rates and Fees
  • Free ATM Network
  • Alaska USA Visa Credit Card
  • Mobile App

Variety of Account Options

Alaska USA offers many types of accounts depending on your needs.

Checking account options

  • Convenience Checking — no monthly fee when you have a recurring direct deposit to the account
  • Relationship Checking — no monthly fee when you maintain at least $500 in the account
  • Investor Checking — no monthly fee when you maintain a minimum balance of $1,000

Savings account options

  • Share Savings — earn dividends for a steady rate of return with no maintenance fee if the account balance remains above $50
  • Premium Savings — increase earnings with a higher rate of return on account balances of $10,000 or more
  • Health Savings Accounts (HSAs)

Money market account options

  • Money Market — maintain a minimum balance of $2,500 to earn dividends
  • Super Money Market — maintain a minimum balance of $10,000 to earn dividends; there is a higher dividend rate for balances of $25,000 or more
  • Jumbo Money Market — maintain a minimum balance of $50,000 to earn dividends; there is a higher dividend rate for balances of $100,000 or more

Alaska USA also offers certificates of deposit (CDs), individual retirement accounts (IRAs), and business account options including checking, savings, money market, and certificates.

Low Rates and Fees

Annual percentage yields (APYs) fluctuate with market and vary by minimum balance, but Alaska USA consistently provides members with competitive rates for savings, checking, money market, and IRA accounts. The average industry APY is 0.05 percent, but Alaska USA provides rates ranging from approximately 0.150 percent to 0.700 percent. However, you still might be able to find higher rates on checking and savings accounts elsewhere.

In addition to competitive rates, Alaska USA has low fees on its checking and savings accounts which can be easily avoided by either maintaining a specific minimum balance or ensuring a recurring direct deposit to the account.

Free ATM Network

Alaska USA has 55,000 surcharge-free ATMs worldwide making it easier to withdraw and deposit cash with your Alaska USA debit card as needed. These ATMs are either Alaska USA or Allpoint ATMs. If you are prompted to accept a surcharge at an Allpoint ATM, there will be an option/button that will ensure that you won't be charged a fee.

Alaska USA ATMs are only available in Alaska, Arizona, California, and Washington, but Allpoint ATMs are in locations worldwide and can be found at leading local, regional, and national retailers, such as Costco, Target, 7-Eleven, and Kroger stores.

Alaska USA Visa Credit Card

The Alaska USA Visa Credit Card combines a low fixed rate with reward points, allowing you to save on travel and merchandise. This credit card features the following:

  • Reward points earned on each dollar spent, so you could potentially add up a large amount of points very quickly
  • No annual fee
  • Smart chip technology which allows you to safely use your card at millions of retailers and ATMs
  • A low, fixed rate as low as 10.5%
  • No foreign transaction fee making travelling easier and more affordable
  • Apple Pay which allows you to make purchases from your iPhone or Apple Watch

Alaska USA credit cards also feature fraud monitoring and alerts to ensure that you are protected. If unusual account activity is suspected, you will be notified immediately allowing you to rectify the situation as quickly as possible. If fraudulent purchases are made on your card, you will not be held responsible.

Mobile App

Alaska USA has a mobile app for both Android and iOS, through which you can easily view balances, manage accounts, pay bills, deposit checks, and keep track of your transaction activity. Through the app you can also locate Alaska USA branches or surcharge-free ATMs.

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The Bad

  • Hidden Fees
  • Lack of Credit Options
  • Limited Branch Locations

Only Alaska and Washington have the greatest amount of access to branches and ATMs all of the other locations are very limited.

Hidden Fees

Alaska USA free checking does not earn dividends and their rates are really low with high minimum balance requirements for their checking accounts. Alaska USA Federal Credit Union also has a few hidden fees if any of your balances fall under $50.00 or if certain goals aren't met financially for the account each month then there will be a $5 fee that is applied either quarterly or monthly depending on the account. For instance, with their checking accounts their fee schedule looks something like this:

  • Convenience Checking — If direct deposit is discontinued, you will get a $5.00 fee per month.
  • Investor Checking — If daily balance falls below $1,000.00 during the calendar month incur $5.00 per month.
  • Relationship Checking — If your daily share or loan balance falls below $500.00 during the calendar month you will incur $5.00 per month. If you are between the ages of 16–25, the fee is waived.

Lack of Credit Card Options 

Alaska USA Federal Credit Union only offers one credit card; it is a Visa Platinum Card. It seems to have a ton of great benefits as far as for use and interest and rewards, but sometimes having more than one kind of card to offer to members is better. No one wants to get stuck with an interest rate they may not like, or points they might not ever use. Giving options to members is important as each member has different needs and financial goals.

Limited Branch Locations

While consumers across the nation can take advantage of Alaska USA's products and services, the credit union has physical branch locations only in the following states:

  • Alaska
  • Arizona
  • California
  • Washington

Only Alaska and Washington have the greatest amount of access to branches and ATMs all of the other locations are very limited.

However, if you are unable to visit a branch location, you can contact member service 24/7 by phone and you can always access your account online by computer or mobile phone. In addition, Alaska USA does have some CO-OP shared branch locations, which may be accessible in your area.

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The Bottom Line

If you live in Alaska, Arizona, California, or Washington, Alaska USA Federal Credit Union could be a great personal banking choice since branch locations and Alaska USA ATMs can be found only in these states.

However, Alaska USA's products and services are available nationwide and surcharge fee-free Allpoint ATMs can be found worldwide. In addition, through Alaska USA's mobile app, you can easily manage your accounts, deposit checks, and pay bills. Thus, even if there isn't an Alaska USA Federal Credit Union branch in your state of residence, you won't necessarily be at a loss.

In addition to checking account and savings account options, Alaska USA offers the Alaska USA Visa Credit Card which has competitive rewards and benefits in comparison to other leading credit card companies. Particularly if you'd like to keep all your banking and financial activity in one place, the option to also open a credit card account with Alaska USA could be helpful.

Alaska USA Federal Credit Union reviews are currently limited, and so we are unable to infer whether or not customers are pleased with Alaska USA customer service, or overall products and services, but it does appear to be a reputable company that seeks to provide customers with a first-rate banking experience.

If you have banked with Alaska USA Federal Credit Union please tell us about your experience by leaving a review.

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Virginia Brookbank

There are to many times of complete incompetent actions. Today they lost my IRS check and refuse to look into it

1 year ago

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