Dedicated to Deposits: Deals, Data, and Discussion

Benefits of the Credit Union Shared Branch Network


This is just a quick reminder about credit union shared branching. A shared branch network allows credit union members to conduct many banking transactions at participating credit union locations within the network, just as if they were at their home branch. CO-OP Shared Branching is the largest credit union shared branch network. It has nearly 5,000 nationwide branch locations. The CO-OP Shared Branching website has a search tool where you can check to see if your credit unions participate.

It’s surprising to see that many people still don’t know about shared branching. In fact, my brother was one of them. Over the weekend I wrote a check to my brother for some money that I owed him. On Monday he was going to drive 30 miles to deposit the check into his credit union. By using the CO-OP Shared Branching website, I was able to determine that his credit union participates in shared branching. In addition, there’s a credit union less than a mile from his house that also participates. After I informed my brother of this, he was able to quickly deposit the check at that nearby credit union.

I experienced the benefits of shared branching in 2011 when I was a beneficiary of a CD from a credit union that was part of the shared branch network. When I closed the CD and received the check, I was able to immediately deposit the check into my own credit union which was also part of the shared branch network.

When you go to a credit union that’s on the shared branch network, remember that you’ll need the credit union name, account number, and a government ID. One downside is that there are often limitations on the amount of money that you can withdraw.

check with your credit union to see if it has any charges for when you use a shared branch

Also, it’s important that you check with your credit union to see if it has any charges for when you use a shared branch. One example is Apple Federal Credit Union. It charges members $3 for shared branch transactions (waived for members with Advantage or Investors Checking).

Unfortunately, some of the largest credit unions don’t participate in the shared branch network. These include Alliant, PenFed and Navy Federal. This does save them money which they can use to pay higher interest rates. However, members do lose some convenience.



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Comments
15 Comments.
Comment #1 by Anonymous posted on
Anonymous
When I moved outside of my credit union area I was surprised that there was a shared branch very close to my new location. It's been very convenient. I believe I lost a couple days before my deposit started earning interest, but that sure beats driving 4 hours or hoping mail gets delivered.

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Comment #2 by Alskar posted on
Alskar
I recently learned that one can use the shared branch network to move IRA CD money quickly and efficiently.  This makes it easier to take advantage of CD promotions that are short lived.  Instead of taking weeks to transfer money, one can open the receiving IRA CD account and then go to a shared branch to immediately transfer the money from one credit union to another. 

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Comment #11 by lou posted on
lou
It sounds like you're describing a 60-day rollover, not a trustee-to-trustee transfer.  As far as I know, there really is no way easy way to accomplish a transfer of IRA money.

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Comment #3 by Anonymous posted on
Anonymous
In my experience, I've seen few credit unions that have affiliated with the shared banking network (my guess is that the number of such credit unions is less than 10 percent of credit unions). Although I had a good experience when I could use the nearby branch of a credit union that was affiliated with the network, things changed badly when that credit union changed the branch one could use for shared banking network transactions to one that was distant and no longer convenient. It/s too bad that there isn't some way to increase the shared banking network to much greater affiliation but I don't have any idea how that could be done.

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Comment #4 by Anonymous posted on
Anonymous
My local credit union is affiliated with over 4,000 participating shared branches all across the country.

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Comment #5 by Anonymous posted on
Anonymous
#4: The "rub" here is that there's perhaps 7,000 credit unions in the U.S., with many of them having several branch offices, HOWEVER, in the shared branch network, not all the branches handle shared network transactions, which was my experience and is still true locally. It's nice if one is fortunate and has a convenient shared network branch, but probably most credit union members aren't so fortunate.

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Comment #6 by paoli2 posted on
paoli2
I only have one of my credit unions with a shared branch in our city. I just love it.  It is so convenient and each month if we want our monthly interest payment, we can just drive up the street and withdraw it.  Unfortunately, this one credit union is the Shared Branch for so many others and seems to get passed by for it's own business.  I recently decided to become a member of it out of appreciation for what they are doing to make my life easier and we opened a CD with them.  Their rates were not high like Penfed or Navy but it just seemed right to give them some business since they make our lives easier by being a Shared Branch. I will monitor their rates when I need another CD and if they are near my range, I hope to give them more business.

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Comment #7 by Anonymous posted on
Anonymous
I have only gone to a bank once for s cashier s check in 4 years. I use ATMs for deposits and withdrawal s. I use online banking for other transactions and it saves me time. The only CU I use is penged and I have CDs and credit card with them. I think bank or CU branches will become obsolete. Some CUs have ATMs that you can speak to a rep and have a video chat to help you. .

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Comment #13 by Anonymous posted on
Anonymous
Your comment highlights the real story in banking re branches. A retired banker formerly with a large bank (very highly rated re capitalization, good asset ratios, etc.) told me that "brick and mortar" banking--i.e., banking in offices/branches, is a loser from a profit standpoint. I believe he's right. In addition to some CDs and some online savings accounts, I have free checking witht Navy Federal (which has no branches or ATMs where I live, a free "e-checking account with BofA with many very convenient branches. And like you, I use ATMs here (with no surcharge), write very few checks, and do a few free ACH transfers from online savings each month.

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Comment #8 by Shorebreak posted on
Shorebreak
I have a credit union that only participates in the CO-OP ATM network.

5
Comment #9 by Sandra posted on
Sandra
I typed in Alliant into the "search tool" and it replied:
Alliant CU
is part of the CO-OP ATM network.
is part of the CO-OP Shared Branching network.

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Comment #12 by Ken Tumin posted on
Ken Tumin
Alliant is a special case. The DA reader jujubee did a good job at explaining the issue in 2012 comments:

Alliant is listed in the Credit Union Service Centers list because they used to have a branch in Hawaii, but closed it, and in deference to the members that live in Hawaii allowed them to use CUSC locations in Hawaii. In order to do this, they have to be a "member" of CUSC, but they do *NOT* allow anyone to use CUSC's located on the mainland.

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Comment #10 by Sandra posted on
Sandra
Also,
Navy FCU
is part of the CO-OP ATM network.
(but not part of the CO-OP Shared Branching network)

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Comment #14 by QED posted on
QED
I'm a long time Alliant member surprised to learn they do not offer shared branching.  I thought they did, but it might be I simply do not understand.  I can relate, though, something I do routinely:

I live roughly 600 miles distant from Chicago.  I often need to deposit checks into my Alliant savings account.  I go into my local CU, which definitely is not Alliant.  I use their ATM, which is on the CO-OP network, to make my Alliant deposit.  This is something I do all the time.  Most recent time I did this was last Saturday.  There is never a problem, and Alliant pays me interest from the day of deposit.  There is no charge for this service from the local CU or from Alliant.

That's all I know.  Whether what I do constitutes shared branching, or not, I don't know.

2
Comment #15 by Anonymous posted on
Anonymous
Does the "home" credit union pay a fee to the shared branch when utilized by one of its members, or is this a service that participating credit unions simply agree to provide for free to other participating credit unions?

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