MADISON, Wis. (12/30/13)--Credit unions were well-represented in NerdWallet's 2013 Best in Banking Awards.
The personal finance and financial literacy website cited credit unions and banks in five categories: Best Savings Account, Best Checking Account, Best Student Account, Best Blog and Best for Nationwide Access.
Ent FCU, with $3.7 billion in assets, Colorado Springs, Colo., was named the Best Student Account Category for its free college checking and Lion One Checking. NerdWallet honored Ent FCU because it charges no monthly fees, waives ATM fees and offers interest on its student checking accounts. Ent is also a member in the CO-OP ATM and CO-OP Shared Branch networks.
Mountain America CU, based in West Jordan, Utah, was the winner in the Best Blog category. Published by the $3.6 billion-asset credit union, Mountain Money was praised for its variety, freshness and social engagement. "While more and more financial institutions have shared educational content on their websites and over social media in the past year, some are leading the pack by covering a big variety of topics, posting regularly and engaging with the online community," NerdWallet reported. "Mountain America CU's blog tackles this feat with ease and style."
Hudson Valley FCU was top-rated in the Best for Nationwide Access category for its large surcharge-free ATM network and shared branches. NerdWallet cited the strength that shared branching brings to the entire credit union industry, but highlighted Hudson Valley FCU's efforts. The $3.8 billion-asset credit union, based in Poughkeepsie, N.Y., also offers access to 77,000 surcharge-free ATMs across the country through the CO-OP, Allpoint, Presto! and SUM networks.
State Employees' CU (SECU), Raleigh, N.C., received an honorable mention in the Best Savings Account category for its share account. "Unlike most entry-level savings accounts, the Share Account offers an extremely competitive interest rate (0.75% annual percentage yield)," NerdWallet said of the $28.8 billion-asset credit union. "Just $25 is required to open the account and avoid a $1 monthly fee."
SECU also captured an honorable mention in the Best Student Account category for its Students' Choice Checking. The account has no monthly fee and offers access to the nationwide surcharge-free Allpoint ATM network. It also includes a bonus rate on certificates of deposit and a 0.25% auto loan discount.
Bethpage (N.Y.) FCU, with $5.4 billion in assets, received an honorable mention in the Best Checking Account category for the long list of benefits it offers on its checking accounts. "Bethpage does not charge out-of-network ATM fees, and checking balances can earn 1% APY for receiving online statements, utilizing direct deposit, and making 10 debit card purchases each month," NerdWallet reported. "New members can also earn a $100 bonus for trading in their debit card or unused checks from another institution."
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