New data from Experian finds that while credit unions are more apt to lend to those with slightly lower credit scores, they still only hold a very small part of the credit card market. The tiny market share isn’t surprising, given the size and exclusivity of some of these smaller institutions, but it’s not completely warranted.
Many credit unions feature competitive credit cards with low interest rates and ample rewards that can easily be obtained by those with decent credit. You just need to know where to look for them. To help you keep credit unions on your radar, here are a few products you need to know about.
This card from national credit union Pentagon Federal proved why credit union products shouldn’t be discounted when it won our most recent Best Travel Cards in America roundup. Besting two Capitol One cards by a decent margin, PenFed’s product entitles cardholders to five points per dollar on airfare and one point per dollar on all other purchases. It also features a low annual percentage rate of 9.99% fixed through June 30, 2014, and no annual fee. Interested cardholders can join PenFed by making a one-time donation to one of the charities associated with the credit union.
Associated’s Visa Platinum is a great option for consumers who don’t want to be saddled with an astronomical annual percentage rate. The card features either a 9.9% or 12% APR, depending on creditworthiness, but you don’t need to have perfect credit to qualify. To find out your creditworthiness, get your Credit Report Card. The credit union is known to approve members with scores between 600 and 680. The card also does not carry an annual fee. Prospective members can apply to join the credit union online.
[Credit Cards: Research and compare credit cards at Credit.com]
Another solid offering from PenFed, this product is one of the best gas cards around, offering 5% cash back at the pump and 0.25% back on all other purchases. Cardholders don’t pay an annual fee and are also exempt from fees on foreign transactions. The APR is also more than reasonable, currently fixed at 9.99% through June 30, 2014. There is also a 4.99% introductory APR currently being offered on balance transfers made before Aug. 30.
Image: 401(K) 2012, via Flickr