What’s the big difference? Arsenal Credit Union vs. Big Banks
Arsenal Credit Union vs. Big Banks: What’s The Difference?
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.
Credit unions are not-for-profit institutions owned by members who share the same interest. Banks, on the other hand, are owned by shareholders who focus on profit maximization. Credit unions are regulated at the state level, whereas federal agencies are tasked with regulating larger banks. The primary differences between these two financial institutions ultimately boil down to their banking relationship with the customer base.
It’s always great when your savings options are closer to home, and a local credit union membership offers a multitude of benefits. Credit unions have fewer transaction costs and fees involved since those in most major cities have multiple branches. You can visit any branch to handle your finances with convenience, or take advantage of mobile banking services with the Arsenal Credit Union mobile app!
Most credit unions, including Arsenal, also offer more favorable rates compared to a traditional bank. On top of this, they usually pay dividends—often more than banks—to customers annually. Learn more about the benefits of banking with a local credit union like Arsenal below!
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 30,000 nationwide in the CO-OP Network.
But that’s not all! You also have access to your Arsenal accounts at nearly 5,800 credit union shared branches across the country, including more than 70 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.
Since March 2017, we’ve collectively saved our members more than $1.5 million by refinancing their bad, original loans from 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.