The 5 Credit Unions With The Widest Reach 

Marian Miranda

If doing business with a traditional bank doesn’t satisfy your needs, you can always open an account with a credit union. Credit unions are financial institutions owned and operated by their members. They often offer the same products as traditional banks, but with better terms.

Not all credit unions are made equal so you must know which ones have a broad reach in the country. In this article, we’ve compiled the top-rated ones, which are: 

  • Alliant Credit Union
  • Pentagon Federal Credit Union
  • Consumers Credit Union
  • Navy Federal Credit Union
  • First Tech Federal Credit Union

These credit unions are excellent according to their scope and other unique strengths. Let’s discover them here. 

Nationwide Reach of the Best Credit Unions and Their Features

These credit unions are available nationwide and some even have branches in major cities. With a broad reach, these institutions also offer better rewards, rates, and returns, so it’s a matter of choosing which ones will fit your needs.

Alliant Credit Union

Alliant has a wide scope with an extensive network of over 80,000 ATMs nationwide. It offers its customers both above-average rates and broad membership criteria. The two latter qualities are what other credit unions can only dream of having because they only provide one of the two. Alliant has high-yield rates for both checking and savings accounts.

Although Alliant has no physical branches, its mobile and online presence is strong. Members can use the app to do the following:

  • deposit checks
  • make payments
  • manage accounts
  • use the built-in budgeting tool to set financial goals

Its standout products include a 2.5% cashback on its Alliant Cashback Visa® Signature Credit Card and the Alliant Credit Union High-Rate Checking, a no-fee checking account. Many reviewers cite this credit union as the best credit union overall.

Consumers Credit Union (CCU)

The Consumers Credit Union also has a broad reach with 11 branches across Illinois. Members can access over 5,000 shared branches and 30,000 co-op ATMs in the country. 

CCU is known for its checking account with high rates. It can go up to 5.00% APY or annual percentage yield (the actual rate of return earned in one year, with compounded interest). You can be a member of CCU by paying a one-time fee of $5 to its sponsor, the Consumers Cooperative Association. 

CCU offers a range of the following:

One of their special offers is the Consumers Credit Union Rewards Checking Account. They offer an APY of 100 times more than the national average of 0.04%.

Pentagon Federal Credit Union (PenFed)

PenFed has a vast reach. As a member, you have access to more than 85,000 ATMs nationwide. It has 48 branches in 15 states. Its mobile app also has a robust online presence, which draws in solid user ratings. Its phone support is commendable since you can contact them well into the evenings, Eastern time, and even on weekends.

Formerly exclusive to military personnel and their families, PenFed is now open to everyone. They offer competitive rates for the following:

  • online savings accounts
  • checking accounts
  • money market certificates, which is its version of certificates of deposit 

This credit union also provides a good APY on their premium savings account. They are known to be the best regarding rewards credit cards.

First Tech Federal Credit Union

Based in San Jose, California, First Tech has a nationwide reach with 39 branches in 8 states and even Puerto Rico. You can join the Community History Museum (CHM) or Financial Fitness Association (FFA) to become a member, and you will get your first year free.

First Tech has some of the best low-interest credit cards out there. It offers the Platinum Mastercard® from First Tech Federal Credit Union and the Choice Rewards World Mastercard® from First Tech Federal Credit Union, with variable APR ranging from 11.49% to 18.00%. Though these rates are low, paying off your credit card bills on time is best to avoid interest charges.  

Aside from excellent credit card offers, First Tech also offers the following:

Navy Federal Credit Union (NFCU)

Rounding up the list of credit unions with a nationwide reach is the Navy Federal Credit Union. NFCU is ready to serve you with 341 branches in 31 states and through a reliable mobile and online presence. It’s important to have ties to any of the following to become a member:

  • The Army
  • Marine Corps
  • Navy
  • Air Force
  • Coast Guard
  • National Guard
  • Space Force
  • Department of Defense

NFCU is one of the best credit unions out there because of its products with fewer fees and better rates. Members save an average of $352 per year. 

Its credit card products received the highest overall satisfaction score because of its terms, benefits, services, and rewards. A Visa Signature® Flagship Rewards Credit Card holder can enjoy a 9.99% to 18.00% variable APR and other attractive perks.

Across the board, these institutions want you to become their members, so there’s no fuss about some basic requirements: $0 monthly maintenance fees and relatively low minimum deposit requirements.

The Bottom Line

The right credit union for you depends on whether they offer what you need. You’ve seen the nationwide reach of each one above. See if they serve your locality. If they do, you won’t have to go far. Then review the reach and membership requirements of many others and their financial products to help you decide.


Although these credit unions have a broad reach, is it safe to use them?

Doing business with credit unions is safe because the National Credit Union Administration or NCUA oversees them. The NCUA insures up to $250,000 of your funds. It’s the same amount the FDIC insures in traditional banks.

Do credit unions offer different products from traditional banks?

Credit unions often provide the same financial products as traditional banks, such as checking accounts, high-yield savings accounts, credit cards, mortgages, personal and auto loans, and more.  

Why should I use a credit union instead of a traditional bank?

Sometimes traditional banks charge you tons of fees, but having an account with the best credit unions can help you avoid that. The latter typically offer lower monthly costs, better interest rates, and improved customer service. 


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