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What’s the big difference? Arsenal Credit Union vs. Big Banks

Consumer Tips
What’s the big difference? Arsenal Credit Union vs. Big Banks

On the surface, Arsenal Credit Union may seem similar to the big banks most of us are familiar with. But when you get down to the details, we offer you and the communities we serve so much more.

  • Checking accounts with debit cards? Check.
  • Auto loans? Check.
  • An app with mobile check deposit? Check.

These are all things Arsenal Credit Union and big banks have in common. You might be wondering what makes us different than them. Well, we have some answers for you.

We operate as a not-for-profit organization

The most important thing that sets us apart from big banks is our very structure. We’re set up as a not-for-profit that looks out for the financial well-being of the community. Banks are set up to make as much money for their shareholders as possible.

The profits we make go back to you (see all the items below)! Profits that banks make are pocketed by shareholders. We look out for everyday, salt-of-the-earth people.

Speaking of shareholders, you’re actually a part owner at Arsenal

When you open an account at Arsenal, you’ll make an initial deposit of $5.00 into a savings account. This small deposit makes you an owner/member.

Big banks are run by a group of paid board of directors who work in the interest of shareholders. Credit unions (like Arsenal) are run by a board of directors made up of volunteers who are members/owners of the credit union. In short, you have a say in how the credit union operates.

We still offer Totally Free Checking accounts

Most banks charge you a monthly fee to have a checking account. If they don’t, they have a ridiculous monthly minimum balance or some other requirements you have to meet to keep it free.

We don’t do that here. Our Totally Free Checking account has no minimum balance – no strings attached.

We also have more free ATMs in the CO-OP Network

We believe you should keep your money. Crazy concept, right? When you bank at Arsenal, you have access to more than 250+ free ATMs in the St. Louis area and nearly 30,000 nationwide in the CO-OP Network.

But that’s not all! You also have access to over 5,600 credit union shared branches across the country, including more than 50 in St. Louis.

A big goal of ours is to save you money on auto loans

Ever hear of Ally Bank or Capital One? They love to charge their customers high interest rates on auto loans. At Arsenal, we love to refinance those bad auto loans and save you tons of cash on the interest.

Over the last three and a half years, we’ve saved members almost $1.1 million by refinancing bad auto loans they got with other lenders.

We offer consistently lower rates on credit cards

Those store and bank credit cards with low introductory rates and special financing offers may sound good, but they usually come back to bite you.

At Arsenal, we offer a credit card with a consistently low-rate that’s perfect for making your everyday purchases. Even if you get in trouble with a high interest store or bank card, you can transfer the balance to one of our cards for free.

You pay no closing costs on home loans

Need money to make some repairs around the house? You’ll need a title search, document prep and an appraisal. When you open a home equity loan or line of credit with us, you don’t have to pay for these things. That’s a savings of anywhere from $500 to $1,500*.

We make saving easy



Need help saving money? Our Spend to Save program helps your saving account grow automatically. Learn more about it here. We also have an award-winning Tracker Kids Club savings account that makes saving fun for kids.

You’re more than just a number here

We’re headquartered in Arnold, Missouri. Our branches are located in the St. Louis, Missouri, area and  in Swansea, Illinois. We volunteer over 1,000 hours a year to local charitable organizations. We treat everyone who comes in as if they have $1 million on deposit even if they’re deep in debt.

Here you’re family.

Check out our Instagram page to see some real testimonials from some of our members.

*Arsenal Credit Union may pay closing costs for home equity loans or lines of credit. If the borrower repays the loan within the first 12 months, the borrower must reimburse the credit union for the closing costs. Borrower is responsible for obtaining and paying for comprehensive insurance to cover the value of the real estate.

**APY=Annual Percentage Yield

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