credit union vs bank

Credit Unions vs. Banks

Your Neighbors, Your Community

Though they offer similar services, the main differences between a credit union and a bank are their profit motives and their cooperative ownership models. Banks are typically for-profit institutions, while credit unions are not-for-profits and distribute their profits to members in the form of offering higher interest rates on savings, lower rates on loans, and lower or waived fees. Credit Unions, like Greater Nevada, use their funds to invest in services and initiatives that help their member-owners. Joining a credit union means joining a community of your neighbors–a community that supports you in return.

Couple going for a walk with baby stroller

What’s a Credit Union?

A credit union is a not-for-profit financial institution. Credit unions operate around the principle of returning profits to members, often in the form of better products, services, and programs. They are cooperative, meaning they’re owned by members, and they’re also federally insured.

Credit unions typically have easy-to-meet membership requirements. Some of the most common perks associated with membership include better rates on loans and savings accounts, as well as possibly fewer and lower fees. Most credit unions offer the same financial services as traditional banks.

What do Credit Unions and Banks Have in Common?

For all their differences, banks and credit unions share several important traits. If you’re concerned about losing some of the convenience or flexibility associated with traditional banking, consider the facts below (and allow us to put your mind at ease).

Similar Services

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Both credit unions and banks offer the same selection of financial products and services: checking and savings accounts, retirement accounts, loans, and credit card offers, plus much more. Find out more about Greater Nevada Credit Union’s personal banking services here or contact us for more information about commercial services, mortgages, investments, and other benefits our credit union offers.

Federally Insured

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Most credit unions and banks are both federally insured. Some credit unions can opt for private insurance. Greater Nevada Credit Union (GNCU) is insured through the National Credit Union Administration (NCUA) instead of the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation (FDIC). The NCUA is a government agency that protects credit union members’ share accounts in the event their credit union fails, just like the FDIC protects customer deposits at a bank. This means as a member of GNCU, your accounts are insured for up to $250,000 through the NCUA.

Branch Locations

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Because credit unions are typically smaller financial institutions than the traditional big banks, they’ve joined forces to offer members more convenient access to services through the CO-OP Shared Branch network. That means you can visit and handle most banking needs at more than 5,600 branches at partner credit unions throughout all 50 states when you travel or move house. You can also have access to over 30,000 fee-free ATMs through the CO-OP Shared ATM network. See all those locations here.

Online Banking

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In an increasingly digital world, it’s important that you’re able to access your money from anywhere. Credit unions and banks both offer online banking services (as well as mobile banking from our handy app). Learn more about what features are included in our Greater Nevada Digital Banking system here.

Banking Made Simple

Manage your money with convenience and flexibility. Greater Nevada Credit Union makes financial wellness second nature with a full range of services, from personal and commercial banking to lending and mortgages. Open a checking account, check on your savings account, or explore credit cards–it all happens here.


bank vs credit union

Start Banking with GNCU

Discover the support that comes from banking with a community of your neighbors. Contact us today to learn more about membership, open an account, or learn more about our cooperative.