Premier Members Credit Union Review: Strong Checking, Money Market

The bottom line: Premier Members Credit Union is a good choice if you’re looking for a high-yield checking or money market account. We’ve included it in our guide of the best money market accounts. You’ll need to look elsewhere to earn the best rates on a savings account or certificate, though.Overall bank ratingPros and consSavings

Annual Percentage Yield (APY)

0.05% APY

Pros & Cons

Details

Pros

$5 minimum opening deposit
No monthly fees

Cons

Low interest rate
Interest compound monthly, not daily

13 branches in Colorado, or open an account online from around the US
Over 5,000 shared branches in the US
There are many ways to become a member if you live in Colorado, or join Impact on Education if you don’t otherwise qualify
Interest compounded monthly, paid monthly
Federally insured by the NCUA

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Premier Members Credit Union Membership Share Savings is good if you want a savings account with no monthly fee. It pays a low interest rate, though, and you can earn a much higher rate at other online banks.Checking

Annual Percentage Yield (APY)

0.01% to 1.00% APY

Pros & Cons

Details

Pros

No minimum opening deposit
No monthly service fee
Qualify to earn interest
No out-of-network ATM fees
Choose from an overdraft line of credit or sweeping money from savings for free

Cons

Interest compounds monthly, not daily
$32 overdraft fee
Does not reimburse any fees charged by out-of-network ATM providers

13 branches in Colorado, or open an account online from around the US
Over 5,000 shared branches in the US
30,000 free ATMs in the country in the CO-OP Network, and use 7-Eleven ATMs for free
There are many ways to become a member if you live in Colorado, or join Impact on Education if you don’t otherwise qualify
Earn competitive interest rates each month that you 1) are enrolled in e-statements, 2) receive $500 in direct deposits, and 3) make at least 25 debit card transactions
If you don’t meet qualifications for competitive interest rates, you’ll earn 0.01% APY
Tiered interest rates with 7 tiers; earn the highest rate on balances under $2,000
Interest compounded monthly, paid monthly
Federally insured by the NCUA

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The Premier Members Credit Union Earn Big Free Checking Account is a good free option, especially if you want to earn interest on the money in your checking account. You’ll earn the highest rate on balances under $2,000, and rates are still competitive on balances of $50,000 or less.To earn the competitive rates each month, you must enroll in e-statements, receive $500 in direct deposits, and make at least 25 debit card transactions.CD

Annual Percentage Yield (APY)

0.05% to 0.65% APY

Pros & Cons

Details

Pros

$500 minimum deposit
Competitive interest rates on longer terms
Low to standard early withdrawal penalties

Cons

Interest compounded monthly, not daily

13 branches in Colorado, or open an account online from around the US
There are many ways to become a member if you live in Colorado, or join Impact on Education if you don’t otherwise qualify
Terms range from 3 months to 5 years
Early withdrawal penalties: 90 days interest on terms of 1 year or less, 180 days interest on terms longer than 1 year
Interest compounded monthly, paid monthly
Federally insured by the NCUA

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Many institutions require at least $1,000 to open a certificate, but you only need $500 with Premier Members Credit Union. You’ll earn above-average interest rates, but you could still get better with other online banks.Money market account

Annual Percentage Yield (APY)

0.10% to 2.00% APY

Pros & Cons

Details

Pros

Competitive interest rates for low balances
$5 opening deposit
Paper checks
No monthly service fee

Cons

Less competitive interest rates for high balances
Interest compounds monthly, not daily
No debit card

13 branches in Colorado, or open an account online from around the US
Over 5,000 shared branches in the US
There are many ways to become a member if you live in Colorado, or join Impact on Education if you don’t otherwise qualify
Reverse-tiered account, with 7 tiers
Earn high rates on balances under $10,000, with highest rates under $2,000
Interest compounded monthly, paid monthly
Federally insured by the NCUA

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Read Our Review
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The Premier Members Credit Union Money Market Account is in our guide of the best money market accounts. It pays high interest rates, especially on balances of $10,000 or less.How Premier Members Credit Union worksPremier Members Credit Union has 13 branches in Colorado. It’s part of the CO-OP Shared Branch Network, so you have access to over 5,000 shared branches and 30,000 ATMs around the US. You can also open accounts online even if you don’t live in Colorado.To contact customer service, call Monday through Friday from 8:00 a.m. to 6:00 p.m. MT, or Saturday from 9:00 a.m. to 1:00 p.m. MT.

The Premier Members Credit Union mobile app has 4.8 out of 5 stars in the Apple store and 4.7 out of 5 stars in the Google Play store.Your deposits are federally insured by the NCUA for up to $250,000, or up to $500,000 for a joint account. With NCUA insurance, your money is safe even if the credit union shuts down.How to join Premier Members Credit UnionPremier Members Credit Union is a credit union, not a bank, so only certain people can become members. The easiest way to become a member is probably by joining Impact on Education, a charity of the Boulder Valley School District. You can join Impact on Education even if you don’t live in Colorado.For Colorado residents, there are other ways to be eligible for membership:Live or work in one of the following counties: Adams, Arapahoe, Broomfield, Boulder, Delta, Denver, Douglas, Elbert, El Paso, Garfield, Jefferson, Larimer, Mesa, Montrose, Pueblo, or WeldBe  a student, faculty member, or staff member in either the Boulder Valley School District or Westminster Public SchoolsBe an employee or family member of an employee of Ball Corporation, Boulder Community Health, IBM, Lexmark, or MedtronicBe an employee or member of one of 750 organizations the credit union serves (call customer service to ask whether your company qualifies)Have a family member who already has accounts with Premier Members Credit UnionWhen you join, you’ll also need to open a Premier Members Credit Union Membership Share Savings Account.Is Premier Members Credit Union trustworthy?Premier Members Credit Union does not have any public controversies.It is a Better Business Bureau-accredited company. The BBB focuses on consumer trust, and it gives Premier Members Credit Union an A+ rating. A strong BBB score indicates that a company responds effectively to customer complaints, advertises honestly, and is transparent about business practices.A good BBB grade doesn’t guarantee that you’ll have a smooth relationship with a business, though. You still may want to ask friends and family about their experiences with the credit union, or read online customer reviews.How Premier Members Credit Union comparesWe’ve compared Premier Members Credit Union to two other institutions that made our best money market accounts guide: Ally and Affinity Plus Federal Credit Union.All three institutions pay high interest rates on

money market accounts

. Ally pays the same rate on your entire balance, while Premier Members CU and Affinity Plus FCU both have tiered systems that pay you higher rates on lower balances.For a money market account, you’ll probably prefer Premier Members CU if you only plan to keep a few thousands dollars in your account, because then you’ll earn the highest rate. But Affinity Plus FCU pays a competitive rate on balances up to $25,000.Your choice could also come down to what other accounts you want to open. Ally pays a much higher savings interest rate than the other two, and Ally and Affinity FCU have stronger CDs than Premier Members CU. 

Laura Grace Tarpley, CEPF

Editor, Banking & Mortgages


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