UW Credit Union

UW Credit Union

UW Credit Union is a consumer-oriented financial services cooperative and is governed by a member-elected board. They have 25 full-service branches in several areas of Wisconsin as well as more than 5,000 surcharge-free ATMs. They are federally insured by the Nation Credit Union Associated, have 220,000 members and 505 employees, and currently have $2.3 billion in assets.

The Good

  • EMV technology and security features
  • Initial deposit
  • Mobile features
  • Loan rates

UW Credit Union offers good things to potential customers, however, we have found that these benefits don't shine above a lot of other credit unions out there yet. Here are some of the best highlights to UW Credit Union.

EMV Technology and Security Features

EMV Technology is the credit cards with small chips in them. The purpose of the chips is to help secure transactions that will hopefully limit the number of fraudulent activity and hacks. UW has made this transition with their debit cards which benefits all of their customers.

UW Credit Union also provides customers with several additional security measures including VerifyU, a multi-step verification protocol, as well as bank-level encryption technology.

Initial Deposit

Another nice perk is that UW Credit Union only requires $5 in a savings account when trying to set it up. Others ask for up to $30 to start an account. If you're just trying to find a place to store your money, possibly for small children, this is a great option.

Mobile Features

The credit union offers a number of helpful mobile features for customers on the go. Through UW Credit Union's mobile app, members will have access to its mobile wallet feature, an easy and secure way to make payments in-person using a smart phone. Members will also be able to perform mobile deposits through UW Credit Union's app. Simply snap a photo of your check, and the money will be deposited into your account (free of charge) with between $200 and $1,500 of your deposit immediately available to use (depending on the age of your account).

Loan Rates

We found the UW Credit Union has good automobile loan interest rates that can range anywhere from 2.24-4.05% as well as personal or unsecured loan rates that start at 9.90%. Even though we have seen slightly better rates elsewhere, we still find these to be pretty competitive with other credit unions.

The Bad

  • Minimal account interest rates
  • Fees
  • Locations and ATMs

Minimal Account Interest Rates

When a customer signs up with a credit union, they can typically expect some type of interest rate. Unfortunately, UW Credit Union offers such a little interest rate that many might feel like it's not even making an earning at all. Their checking account interest rate is only 0.01% and their savings account is only 0.03% APY. This is one of the lowest we've seen with any credit union and puts a big hit to their Overall Score as a company.

Fees

UW Credit Union provides its members with several forms of overdraft protection; however, there are a number of potential fees associated with this protection that members must be aware of. For example, transferring money from a savings account carries a $5 fee, as does using a reserve line of credit. Meanwhile, basic overdraft protection carries a $30 fee on all checking accounts over 90 days old. While this $30 fee certainly isn't the highest in the industry (in fact, it's about average), other credit unions charge much less for overdraft protection.

Locations and ATMs

UW Credit Union is based in Wisconsin, and because of the small focused area, they do not really need to offer as many locations. They currently have 25 branches and own 71 ATMs (though, as a member of the Alliance One ATM network, UW Credit Union gives customers access to 5,000 additional ATMs with no surcharge). Even though Wisconsin residents might find this as "enough", when you compare their amount of locations and ATMs to the rest of the industry, we find that credit unions who offer membership to people all over the US have hundreds of branch locations and tens of thousands of ATMs options. Unfortunately, the comparison puts UW Credit Union at the lower end of the spectrum which also puts a dent in the company's score.

The Bottom Line

UW Credit Union doesn't seem to be up-to-date with a lot of the new benefits and perks a lot of other credit unions are offering nowadays. We also see that their interest rates are really low for their account earnings. This has a big negative impact to the credit union's Overall Score. They are going to have a hard time competing with national credit unions that have a lot more competitive rates and with a ton of features. UW Credit Union is a good choice for residents of Wisconsin, but we see a lot of areas in which they can improve their services to their potential customers.

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