12 Best Credit Unions Anyone Can Join [2024]: Everyone’s Welcome

These credit unions offer financial products like checking and savings accounts without membership restrictions.
Updated June 19, 2024
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Credit unions offer many of the same products as the best banks, including checking and savings accounts, loans, credit cards, and more. However, credit unions are nonprofit organizations owned by their member customers. This enables them to often provide better rates and lower fees than a traditional bank.

While many credit unions only serve specific organizations, companies, or communities, there are some credit unions that anyone can join. Opening an account at these credit unions is as easy as paying a small membership fee or donating to a worthy cause.

Our top picks are OnPath Federal Credit Union, Alliant Credit Union, and Bethpage Federal Credit Union due to their account options and mobile experiences. Check out these and the other credit unions on our list of the best credit unions anyone can join.

In this article
  • Most credit unions are nonprofit organizations owned by their members.
  • Our top picks are OnPath Federal Credit Union, Alliant Credit Union, and Bethpage Federal Credit Union.
  • If you don’t meet the membership requirements of a credit union, you may still be able to join by making a small donation or membership fee.
  • Credit union accounts are protected by the National Credit Union Administration (NCUA), much like banks are protected by the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation (FDIC).

12 of the best credit unions anyone can join

Best credit unions anyone can join comparison

Best for… Checking APY Savings APY
OnPath Federal Credit Union Checking account options 0.50%-7.00% (as of 07/01/24) depending on the balance 12 0.10%-0.15% (as of 07/01/24) depending on your balance
Alliant Credit Union Multiple savings accounts 0.25% (as of 06/26/24) 3.10% (as of 06/26/24)
Bethpage Federal Credit Union Mobile app experience 0.40% (as of 06/26/24) 0.10% (as of 06/26/24)
Affinity Plus Federal Credit Union Early payday 0.05% (as of 06/26/24) Up to 4.00% (as of 06/26/24) SmartStart Savings
Connexus Credit Union ATM rebates Up to 1.75% (as of 06/27/24) 0.20% (as of 06/27/24)
Consumers Credit Union Reimbursed membership Up to 5.00% (as of 06/27/24) 3.00% (as of 06/27/24)
Lake Michigan Credit Union High APYs Up to 3.00% (as of 06/27/24) depending on your balance Up to 2.25% (as of 06/27/24) depending on your balance
Hope Credit Union Smart Money Insights Up to 5.12% (as of 06/27/24) on Rewards Checking 0.10%-1.51% (as of 06/27/24) on Savings Plus depending on your balance
Latino Community Credit Union Minimal requirements for earning interest 0.10% (as of 06/27/24) 0.15% (as of 06/27/24)
NASA Federal Credit Union Cash back debit card 1.00% (as of 07/01/24) 0.10% (as of 07/01/24)
CommunityWide Federal Credit Union Overdraft protection 1.00% (as of 06/27/24) 2.00% (as of 06/27/24)
Blue Federal Credit Union Perks 2.00% (as of 06/26/24) for Elite Checking depending on the balance Up to 5.00% (as of 06/26/24)

OnPath Federal Credit Union

  • 0.50%-7.00% (as of 07/01/24) on checking balances of up to $10,000
  • Cash-back checking option
  • Can join by making a $5 donation to the OnPath Foundation
  • Cap on highest earning rate for checking accounts
  • Low APY for savings

OnPath Federal Credit Union offers a very impressive APY on its high-yield checking account: 0.50%-7.00% (as of 07/01/24).3 You also have to log in to online or mobile banking at least once per statement cycle, opt into e-statements, and have 15 or more debit card purchases post and settle each statement cycle. That rate is limited to balances up to $10,000, though. 

If you prefer cash-back, OnPath also has an account that allows you to earn 5% cashback on up to $200 in debit card purchases each month. You must meet the same qualifications to earn cash back as you do to earn the higher APY with the high-yield checking account.

One major downside to OnPath is its low savings APYs. So you may want to look elsewhere if you’re looking to park a significant amount of funds in savings. It also costs $5 to join.4

NCUA insured.

Visit OnPath

Alliant Credit Union

  • No monthly service, overdraft fees, or minimum balance requirements on checking
  • Provides $20 per month in ATM fee rebates
  • You can open up to 19 savings accounts for free
  • Offers a competitive interest rate on its savings accounts
  • You must meet certain requirements to be eligible for earning interest
  • No physical branches
  • $1 fee for paper statements for savings accounts

Alliant Credit Union is an Illinois-based nonprofit financial cooperative that started in 1935 as a credit union for United Airlines employees. Today, anyone can join Alliant Credit Union, regardless of where they live and who they work for. The credit union has no physical locations and handles all its business online.

Alliant Credit Union offers high-yield checking and savings accounts that have competitive annual percentage yields (APYs). Still, its rates aren’t as high as you may find at other credit unions.

You also need to meet certain requirements to earn the high interest and monthly dividends on the accounts. The checking account earns 0.25% (as of 06/26/24) APY, but you must opt in to electronic statements and make at least one monthly electronic deposit to the account. That electronic deposit doesn’t necessarily have to be a direct deposit. It can be a mobile deposit, transfer from another financial institution, or ATM deposit.

The Alliant Credit Union high-yield savings account earns 3.10% (as of 06/26/24) APY, but you must maintain a minimum balance of $100. You’ll also be charged a monthly fee of $1 if you receive a paper account statement rather than an eStatement. Alliant Credit Union allows you to open as many as 19 supplemental savings accounts for free, which you can use to track your savings goals.

Visit Alliant Credit Union

Bethpage Federal Credit Union

  • Easy to join
  • Earns 0.40% (as of 06/26/24) APY on checking
  • No minimum balance or maintenance fees on checking accounts
  • Low 0.10% (as of 06/26/24) APY on savings
  • No physical branches outside of New York

Headquartered in Bethpage, New York, Bethpage Federal Credit Union is the largest credit union in New York and the 15th largest in the U.S. But you don’t have to be a New York resident to open an account. Bethpage Federal Credit Union is a credit union anyone can join by just opening a savings account and depositing $5.

While you can join Bethpage Federal Credit Union no matter where you live, there aren’t significant incentives to do so. Its checking and savings accounts earn interest, but the rates are considerably lower than other credit unions. You may find more value in its other products, including home equity lines of credit, personal loans, and student loan refinancing.

The checking account earns a higher APY of 0.40% (as of 06/26/24), but you’ll have a few hurdles to clear to be eligible. You’ll need to be enrolled in direct deposit, make ten purchases with a Bethpage Debit Card, and enroll in electronic banking statements.

NCUA insured.

Visit Bethpage Federal Credit Union

Affinity Plus Federal Credit Union

  • Get paid up to 2 days early
  • Offers fee-free overdraft protection and an optional overdraft line of credit
  • No minimum balance requirements for savings accounts
  • You must maintain a minimum daily balance of $1,000 to earn an APY on checking
  • Charges a $33 fee for insufficient funds
  • $2 monthly fee for paper statements

Initially formed to serve the financial needs of Western Electric Company employees, Affinity Federal Credit Union is now a credit union that anyone can join. The credit union offers some options for checking and savings accounts that can help you grow your money.

Affinity’s SmartStart Savings is a high-yield savings account that earns 4.00% (as of 06/26/24) APY, but that rate is only on the first $10,000 in the account.

Affinity’s MoreChecking earns a 0.05% (as of 06/26/24) APY, but you must maintain a daily balance of at least $1,000 to earn interest on the account. A possibly better option is the credit union’s Cash Back Debit checking account. This account doesn’t earn interest, but you can earn 1% cash back on debit card purchases.

One thing to watch out for with Affinity is overdrafts. Credit union members are automatically enrolled in a Standard Courtesy Pay service where the credit union will cover a transaction even if you don’t have enough in your account to cover it.

However, you’ll get charged a $33 insufficient funds fee. Affinity does have fee-free overdraft protection you can opt into that will use a linked Affinity savings account to cover the transaction. It also offers an overdraft line of credit you can apply for.

NCUA insured.

Visit Affinity Federal Credit Union

Connexus Credit Union

  • Higher than average APY on checking
  • No maintenance fees or minimum balance requirements
  • Free overdraft transfers from a linked account
  • $25 ATM surcharge rebates
  • Low APY on savings accounts
  • A $5 one-time donation is required to join for some people

Connexus Credit Union serves the members and employees of several organizations and communities in the Midwest. However, even if you aren’t eligible to be a member through an organization or community, you can still become a Connexus Credit Union member by making a one-time donation of $5 to the Connexus Association.

The Connexus Xtraordinary Checking account is one of the best checking accounts. It earns 1.75% (as of 06/27/24) APY as long as you opt in to electronic statements and make 15 or $400 in debit card purchases. That rate is good on balances up to $25,000, after which the APY drops.

While the interest rate on the Xtraordinary Checking is higher than many competitors, the APY on the Connexus savings account is surprisingly low at just 0.20% (as of 06/27/24). To earn interest, you must maintain a daily balance of at least $100 in your savings.

NCUA insured.

Visit Connexus Credit Union

Consumers Credit Union

  • Higher than average APY on checking
  • No monthly maintenance fee for checking
  • Could get paid up to 2 days early with direct deposit
  • Highest APY on savings account has multiple requirements

Anyone can join Consumers Credit Union, and it even deposits $5 into its basic Membership Share Savings account when you join.

One reason to join is its Rewards Checking account, which offers up to a 5.00% (as of 06/27/24) APY. You do have to meet several requirements to earn that APY, including:

  • Receive e-statements
  • Make at least 12 debit card purchases per month
  • Have at least $500 in direct deposits
  • Spend $1,000 or more on the Consumer Credit Union Visa Credit Card

Another strong account offering is its Smart Saving account, with an up to 3.00% (as of 06/27/24) APY if you deposit a minimum of $50 per month, have direct deposits of $500 or more into checking, and are signed up for e-statements. While that’s a respectable savings APY, it’s certainly not the highest out there.

NCUA insured.

Visit Consumers Credit Union

Lake Michigan Credit Union

  • No monthly fees
  • No minimum balance required
  • Up to 3.00% (as of 06/27/24) APY on Max Checking
  • Reimburses up to $10 per month in ATM fees
  • Must meet specific requirements for high APY
  • $30 fee for Courtesy Pay overdrafts and insufficient funds

Anyone can become a member of Lake Michigan Credit Union. You don’t have to belong to any specific organization or industry or live near one of LMCU’s branch locations in Michigan or Florida. It takes just $5 to join the credit union, and if you’re not a resident of Michigan or Florida, your $5 is donated to the ALS Foundation.

LMCU offers competitive rates on its interest-earning Max Checking and Max Savings accounts. Its Max Checking has no monthly fees or minimum balance requirements. The account earns up to a 3.00% (as of 06/27/24) APY on balances up to $15,000, but you’ll have to jump through a few hoops to get that rate.

To earn the high APY, you must have direct deposit and electronic statements, post a minimum of 10 debit or credit card purchases, and log in to the LMCU online or mobile banking at least four times.

The credit union’s Max Savings account uses a tiered approach to earning interest. The APY is up to 2.25% (as of 06/27/24) depending on your account balance.

One of the biggest drawbacks to LMCU is its lack of overdraft protection. Although the credit union says it provides overdraft protection, that service is its Courtesy Pay program, where you can opt to have LMCU cover a transaction when you don’t have enough money in your account. However, you will be charged a $30 fee for each Courtesy Pay.

Lake Michigan Credit Union is NCUA insured.

Visit Lake Michigan Credit Union

Hope Credit Union

  • No monthly service charge or minimum balance requirements
  • Refunds up to $20 in ATM fees
  • Provides a Smart Money Insights Personal Finance Manager
  • Must meet monthly requirements to earn high APY
  • Fee-free withdrawals on savings are limited to three per month
  • $25 fee for non-sufficient funds or Courtesy Pay

Hope Credit Union is part of the Hope Enterprise Corporation, an organization focused on strengthening communities in economically distressed areas of the Deep South. The credit union has branches in Alabama, Arkansas, Louisiana, Mississippi, and Tennessee, but membership is open to anyone. The membership fee is $10, of which $5 is donated to the Hope Enterprise Corporation.

Hope Credit Union offers several checking accounts, but its Hope Rewards Checking is its interest-bearing account. It earns up to 5.12% (as of 06/27/24) APY monthly on balances up to $10,000. Balances above $10,000 have a lower APY.

There are no monthly service fees or minimum balance requirements on the Hope Rewards Checking, and you can get an up to $20 refund on ATM charges each month. To earn the highest APY, you must also complete the following monthly tasks:

  • Post 12 debit card transactions
  • Log onto online or mobile banking once
  • Receive direct deposit or automatic payment (ACH)
  • Be enrolled in e-statements

You can connect a Hope Rewards Savings account to your checking account and earn up to a 0.10%-1.51% (as of 06/27/24) APY on your savings, depending on your account balance. As part of your membership, you must also open a share account with a minimum initial deposit of $15.

Hope Credit Union also offers Smart Money Personal Financial Manager, which lets you connect all of your financial accounts and budget and monitor spending.

Hope Credit Union is NCUA insured.

Visit Hope Credit Union

Latino Community Credit Union

  • Maintenance fees are waived if you meet account balance requirements
  • No requirements for direct deposit or eStatements to earn interest
  • Low APY rates
  • A minimum daily balance of $250 is required on checking to avoid fees
  • $30 fee for non-sufficient funds

Based in Durham, North Carolina, the Latino Credit Union was founded to provide a safe place for Latinos to save money and build wealth. However, Latino Credit Union is a credit union anyone can join.

To open a Latino Community Credit Union account, you have to become a member of the Latino Community Development Center (LCDC), which costs a one-time fee of $8. You’ll also have to open a savings account before you have access to other accounts.

A $10 minimum initial deposit is required to open a savings account, and you must maintain a monthly minimum balance of $10 to avoid the monthly maintenance fee of $2. The basic savings account earns 0.15% (as of 06/27/24) APY.

The basic checking account at Latino Community Credit Union earns a 0.10% (as of 06/27/24) APY. A minimum balance of $250 is required on the checking account to avoid the $2 monthly maintenance fee. Although the interest rates on account at Latino Community Credit Union are lower than those of many competitors, there aren’t a lot of hoops you need to do to qualify for those rates.

NCUA insured.

Visit Latino Community Credit Union

NASA Federal Credit Union

  • Get paid up to two days early
  • One free non-sufficient funds fee waived per year
  • Cash back debit card
  • No monthly maintenance fees on savings accounts
  • Must maintain a $2,500 account balance on checking to avoid a $9 monthly fee.

If you are interested in space exploration, you may want to consider joining the NASA Federal Credit Union. The credit union was founded in 1949 to serve NASA employees, association members, and their families.

But you can join the credit union without any NASA involvement by accepting a one-year complementary affiliated membership to the National Space Society, which gives you full NASA Federal membership benefits. You must also open a primary savings account with a minimum deposit of $5. The savings account earns a 0.10% (as of 07/01/24) APY.

NASA Federal Credit Union offers three checking accounts to choose from, but its Premier Preferred Checking is the only one that earns interest. The Premier Preferred Checking account earns a dividend of 1.00% (as of 07/01/24) APY. You must maintain an average daily balance of $2,500 to avoid the $9 monthly fee. This checking account includes up to $250 in cash-back rewards for debit card purchases.

NASA Federal Credit Union is NCUA insured.

Visit NASA Federal Credit Union

CommunityWide Federal Credit Union

  • Provides identity theft protection coverage for checking accounts
  • Qualified members can get up to $300 in overdraft coverage
  • No monthly fees for checking
  • $15 non-sufficient funds fee

Indiana-based CommunityWide Federal Credit Union serves the employees and members of many organizations. However, if you aren’t a member of those organizations, you can still join the credit union and open an account by donating $5 to the Michiana Goodwill Boosters, Marine Corps League of St. Joseph Valley, Habitat for Humanity Helpers, or Ronald McDonald House Charities of Michiana.

CommunityWide Federal Credit Union offers both checking and savings accounts that earn interest. The savings account earns 2.00% (as of 06/27/24) APY, and the checking account earns 1.00% (as of 06/27/24) APY. A unique feature of the CW Checking account is that it comes with ID Protect, a free tool to help protect you from identity theft.

If you have a CW checking account, you may qualify for the credit union’s SOS overdraft protection. This service provides up to $300 in overdraft coverage if you don’t have enough in your account to cover a transaction. A fee of 0.33% is assessed on your account per each day your account is overdrawn for up to 14 days.

CommunityWide Credit Union is NCUA insured.

Visit CommunityWide Credit Union

Blue Federal Credit Union

  • Nova Perks Checking includes roadside assistance, cell phone protection, and ID Theft Aid
  • 5.00% (as of 06/26/24) APY on Accelerated Savings
  • Accelerated Savings only earns 5.00% (as of 06/26/24) APY on up to $1,000
  • Interest-earning checking costs $7 to $9 per month

Blue Federal Credit Union primarily serves people who live and work in Wyoming or Colorado, are affiliated with F.E. Warren Air Force Base or another Wyoming military entity, and are a family of existing Blue members.

Anyone can join Blue Federal Credit Union by opening an account and depositing $10, of which $5 is used to set up your membership, and the other $5 is donated to Blue Foundation.

Blue Federal Credit offers an Accelerated Savings account that earns up to a 5.00% (as of 06/26/24) APY. That rate is only good for the first $1,000 in your account. Accounts over $1,000 earn a lower, tiered APY.

The credit union also offers two interest-earning checking accounts, the higher of which is Nova Perks Elite Checking, which earns up to 2.00% (as of 06/26/24) APY. The perks of these two accounts are that they include roadside assistance, cell phone protection, and ID Theft Aid services. However, you’ll have to pay a monthly fee of $9 for an Elite account.

Blue Federal Credit Union is NCUA insured.

Visit Blue Federal Credit Union

How to choose the best credit union

When it comes to choosing the best credit union that anyone can join, there are several factors you should consider. As you shop around, consider the following questions:

  • Can anyone join the credit union?
  • What is the fee to join, if there is any?
  • What kinds of products does the credit union offer (e.g., loans, banking accounts)?
  • What rates is the credit union offering on its checking and savings accounts?
  • Does the credit union provide overdraft protection, and how does it work?
  • What other membership perks does the credit union provide?
  • What are the fees, and are there minimum balance requirements on accounts?
  • Are there physical branches near you? If not, are you comfortable doing all your banking online?
  • What are your membership dues used for?
  • Is it insured by the NCUA?

FAQ about credit unions anyone can join

What is the easiest credit union to join?

All the credit unions we’ve reviewed here are easy to join, even if you aren’t necessarily affiliated with the organizations, companies, or communities the credit unions primarily serve. Anyone can join these credit unions simply by making a small donation or paying a membership of $5 to $10 and opening an account.

Can credit unions deny you an account?

Yes, a credit union can deny you an account just like a bank can, even credit unions that anyone can join. Just like banks, credit unions will look at your checking history, and if you’ve written a lot of bad checks, they may refuse to let you open an account.

What is the easiest bank to get approved for?

The best banks and credit unions to get approved for an account are those that don’t pull your credit or banking history as a condition of opening an account. These financial institutions are considered second-chance banks or checking accounts.

Best credit unions anyone can join: bottom line

The best credit union for you depends on what rates are offered, what perks are available to members, and what fits your financial needs. Lake Michigan Credit Union may be your best bet if you want the highest APYs on checking and savings accounts. But if you need accounts with strong overdraft protection, CommunityWide Federal Union is a better fit. If you are a fan of space exploration, you may want to open an account with NASA Federal Credit Union.

If you’d prefer a traditional bank, our list of the best checking accounts is a good place to find a new account.


The credit unions we chose for our list may be current or past FinanceBuzz partners. We did not review all credit unions in the market. When evaluating these credit unions, we considered factors such as membership requirements, APYs, and monthly fees.

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Author Details

Danielle Letenyei Danielle Letenyei is a professional writer living in Madison, Wisconsin. Her interests include budgeting, travel, credit cards, insurance, and creative side gigs. She hopes her work on these topics can help others navigate the intricate landscape of personal finance.