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.
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.