credit union

Compare bank accounts offered by credit unions

Information verified correct on October 21st, 2016

You may be better off banking with a credit union. Here's why.

The retail banking industry in Australia is dominated by the ‘big four’ — Westpac, Commonwealth Bank, ANZ and National Australia Bank — and a host of other banks. Australian banks offer a huge range of financial products and services to help you manage all of your banking needs.

But regardless of whether you’re looking to open a transaction account, a savings account or any other type of bank account, you don’t necessarily need to open it with a bank. Australia’s credit unions offer all the same products that you would find from your bank, including savings and transaction accounts, and in many cases they may even help you find a better deal.

Compare credit union bank accounts in the table below

Rates last updated October 21st, 2016
Monthly Account Fee Debit Card Access ATM Withdrawal Fee Fee Free Deposit p.m. Details
Community First Student Starter Account
Designed for students aged 17-24 and studying their first degree or traineeship full-time.
Visa $0 $0 No monthly fee, fee-free banking with access to the RediATM network. More
Illawarra Credit Union Everyday Lite
Transaction account ideal for University and TAFE students.
Visa $0 $0 No account keeping or transaction fees. More
CUA Everyday Youth Account
Designed for teens between 10 to 17 years old, a CUA Everyday Youth Account is designed to make everyday banking easier.
Visa $0 $0 $0 monthly account keeping fees with unlimited access to RediATM network. More
People's Choice Everyday Account
A flexible transaction account with unlimited transactions and a competitive monthly fee.
Visa $0 $0 Free access to rediATMs across Australia. More
Community First Junior Saver
Available for members under 18 years old.
Visa $0 $0 No transaction fees across the redi-ATM network and no monthly account keeping fees. More
People's Choice Credit Union Activate Account
A student everyday transaction account - suitable for ages 13 - 24.
Visa $0 $0 No monthly account keeping fee with unlimited free rediATM transactions, EFTPOS, Direct Debits, BPAY, Branch and Bank@Post transactions. More
People's Choice Credit Union Offset Account
For members with an eligible People's Choice Credit Union home loan.
Visa $0 $0 Monthly administration fee applies and is applied to your home loan account on the last day of each month. More
CUA Everyday 55+ Account
Everyday bank account designed for those aged 55+.
Visa $0 $0 No monthly account fee with no fee for everyday purchases. Free access to the RediATM network if you withdraw at least $50. More
Community First Retirement Plus Account
Everyday account that rewards those over age 55, pensioners or retirees with a competitive interest rate.
Visa $1.75 $0 No account keeping fees with free SMS and email alerts. Access through RediATM network. More
ECU Australia Basic Everyday Access
Everyday account with up to 35 free transactions per month.
Visa $0 $500 Up to 35 free transactions per month with a linked Visa debit card. More
Community First - Access Account
An everyday bank account with a linked Visa debit card. Optional cheque and deposit book.
Visa $2 $0 Free online transactions and access to your money through the rediATM network of over 3,000 ATMs. More
Illawarra Credit Union Everyday Account
A transaction account designed for everyday use.
Visa $0.75 $2,000 Account keeping fee applies. More
ECU Australia Just for Kids
An interest bearing accounts for kids under 18. Babies less than 12 months old are also eligible with a $20 bonus.
Visa $0.60 $500 No monthly fee with up to 8 transactions per month. More

What is a credit union?

A credit union is an authorised deposit-taking institution. They are regulated the same as banks. Although they offer many of the same products as banks, credit unions are actually structured in quite a different way. Whereas banks are run with the aim of generating profits for shareholders, credit unions are set up to focus on their members, who are also their customers. Each credit union customer owns a share in the organisation they belong to, and each has a vote in how the credit union is managed or governed.

While banks pass any profits on to their external shareholders, a credit union’s profits are put back into the products and services they offer. This means that members can enjoy their share of profits through better customer service, lower home loan interest rates, fewer fees and better banking products.

There are more than 65 credit unions in Australia, many of which consistently outperform the major banks in customer satisfaction surveys. According to the Customer Owned Banking Association, Australia’s credit unions, building societies and mutual banks serve more than four million customers and hold $97 billion in assets. Collectively, they are the fifth largest holders of deposits in Australia.

What are the benefits of credit union bank accounts?

It's run to benefit members

  • Credit unions are focused on delivering the best products and services to its customers, not on generating profits for shareholders. The profits are returned to it's members, who are usually the account holders.

Community-based banking

  • Since credit unions are smaller and more community-based than banks, credit unions can focus on offering personalised customer service and financial advice.

Generally offer more competitive products

  • Credit unions aim to pass profits on to their customers in the form of improved products, fewer fees, better interest rates and superior customer service.

You get a say

  • When you’re a credit union customer, you become a member of that organisation and get a say in how the credit union is governed.

It's properly regulated

  • All Australian credit unions, mutual building societies and mutual banks are Authorised Deposit-taking Institutions (ADIs) that are regulated by the Australian Securities and Investment Commission and the Australian Prudential Regulation Authority.

It's covered by the Government guarantee

  • Deposits of up to $250,000 with Australian credit unions are guaranteed by the Federal Government.

How do I compare credit union bank accounts?

Make sure you keep the following features in mind when weighing up the pros and cons of different credit union bank accounts:

Little to no account keeping fees

It’s always essential to check what fees and charges apply to your account. These include ongoing account-keeping fees, annual fees, transaction fees, ATM withdrawal fees and foreign transaction fees. Read the fine print closely to familiarise yourself with all penalties that may apply.

See our fee-free banking guide here.

Account access

Compare the options you have for accessing your funds: can you manage your money online, via your mobile, over the phone and/or by popping into a branch? If you ever need fast access to your funds in an emergency, can you withdraw money from your account without incurring any fees? If you regularly use ATMs, how large is the credit union’s ATM network?

The credit union’s internet and mobile banking portals

In the modern world, more and more of our everyday banking transactions are carried out online or via your smartphone. With this in mind, read reviews and testimonials to find out how easy to use the credit union’s internet banking portal is, and whether its mobile banking app also has a reputation for being user-friendly.

Credit union bank accounts offer all the features you’d expect from an ordinary bank account but often with fewer fees and better features. Compare credit union bank accounts at today to find the ideal account for your banking needs.

Shirley Liu

Shirley is's publisher for banking and investments. She is currently studying a Masters in Commerce (Finance) and is the author of hundreds of articles. She is passionate about helping Aussies make an informed decision, save money and find the best deal for their needs.

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