Maximizing Benefits with Credit Union Credit Cards: Top 5 Perks to Consider



Using credit union credit cards well can lead to a world of rewards—but you need to know what you’re doing. While swiping is easy, leveraging credit well can be a little more complicated—until now. 

Today, we’re going to provide a few quick tips and discuss some must-know credit card perks that can make using your credit card much easier—and the benefits much easier to access.

First Things First: Why Credit Cards?

If you’re a little scared about using a credit card, we get it. Understanding how to use your new card well can feel overwhelming.

However, wield that credit card well, and you’ll unlock the door to:

  • Cash back, which allows you to earn a percentage of your spending back
  • Shopping points, which helps you accumulate points with each purchase, redeemable for various goods or discounts 
  • Travel rewards, which earns you redeemable points for travel expenses, such as flights and hotels
  • The ability to build up your credit score, which can lead to better loan terms and lower interest rates.
  • Simpler shopping experiences at most modern vendors

Your smart credit card use starts with finding the right credit card.

Where Should You Look for Credit Cards?

Our No. 1 pro tip? Start your search for your ideal credit card at an institution you already trust. 

You may be familiar with the names of big credit card companies such as Visa or Mastercard, but you won’t set up your card access directly with them. Instead, you’ll apply for your card through a bank or credit union that will then be the custodian of your account

All this means is that the financial institution issuing your card will extend your credit and process your payments. 

Why It's Worth Getting Your Credit Card from a Credit Union

Getting a credit card from a credit union can come with serious benefits over working with a typical bank. 


Credit unions are not-for-profit institutions structured to serve their member shareholders. That means they tend to offer lower costs and fees, including lower interest rates on credit cards. 

This isn’t just in theory: When you compare average credit card interest rates to credit union rates, you will find that credit unions generally have lower rates—nationally, a rate of about 12.5%, compared to the average bank credit card rate of 14.5%. Credit union credit cards also tend to have lower or no annual fees and may not charge for services such as balance transfers. 

Of course, you must qualify to join the credit union first. If you do qualify, then you get perks in addition to credit card incentives, such as great rates on loans, lower fees on banking services, and special deals for members only.

Download our guide, Understanding Credit: The Good, the Bad, and the Ugly to  manage your credit like a pro. →

Credit Union Credit Card Perks You Should Definitely Know About

As you’re assessing your options, keep an eye out for these popular credit card benefits:

1. Cash Back

Credit union credit cards that allow you to earn cash with every purchase are very helpful. The idea is simple: Use your card and get a percentage back to use as you please. Some cards run promotions with major retailers to provide further discounts or advantages.

The one con? Sometimes, cash back cards have higher interest rates—just something to keep in mind.

2. Travel Points

Are you a frequent flier? If so, a credit card that offers rewards for specific hotel chains or airline miles may be a perfect fit for you. Travel rewards cards also can offer other value-added perks, such as rental car insurance and free travel insurance or emergency coverage.

3. Fraud Protection

Today, many credit cards come with fraud protection, including identity theft protection, which allows you to lock your card if it’s lost or stolen or to put a watch on it so you have to authorize each transaction.

4. Balance Transfer

With credit union credit cards that come with the ability to transfer balances, you can move debt from a high-interest card to cards with a lower annual percentage rate, so you save money by paying lower interest fees. Look for cards with low or no fees for the best possible experience.

5. Payment Protection

Sometimes, credit card companies offer payment protection or debt protection insurance. This can allow you to pause your card payments for a time. This can be very helpful in times of financial hardship, but just make sure you read the fine print before you commit. 

Excited to Make Credit Union Card Perks Work for You?

iQ has a credit card that meets your needs. We’re happy to offer options specifically designed with you in mind: the Visa Platinum® card, Visa Platinum® Secured card, Visa Platinum® Cash Back card, and Visa Signature® Travel card.

Interested to learn more about your credit card options? Intrigued by the other perks that come with joining a credit union? Reach out to our team to learn more about what we can offer you, or check out this guide to the perks of an iQ membership to learn all about our member services.

Managing credit is a necessary survival skill.


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