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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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Previous Comments
  |     |   Comment #1
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.
  |     |   Comment #2
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. 
  |     |   Comment #11
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.
  |     |   Comment #16
Why would this not be considered an IRA transfer? The IRA funds transferred from one credit union trustee to the other shared branch credit union trustee FBO IRA Owner.  I would think the funds never were distributed to the IRA owner but instead were transferred to the IRA Owner's IRA account. So what would make you believe it was a rollover instead of a transfer?
  |     |   Comment #3
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.
  |     |   Comment #4
My local credit union is affiliated with over 4,000 participating shared branches all across the country.
  |     |   Comment #5
#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.
  |     |   Comment #6
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.
  |     |   Comment #7
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. .
  |     |   Comment #13
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.
  |     |   Comment #8
I have a credit union that only participates in the CO-OP ATM network.
  |     |   Comment #9
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.
Ken Tumin
  |     |   Comment #12
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.
  |     |   Comment #10
Navy FCU
is part of the CO-OP ATM network.
(but not part of the CO-OP Shared Branching network)
  |     |   Comment #14
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.
  |     |   Comment #15
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?
  |     |   Comment #18
Some do and some do not it depends on the Shared CU and if they charge a fee. Some CU will pick up the charges from these transactions.
  |     |   Comment #17
While shared banking with the credit unions are nice you can be hit with charges I know of one that will charge you to make a deposit into another CU account.  Lets say while you are getting $200 from your savings at CU A and want to deposit it in CU B while you are at the teller line you maybe hit with a charge to do that by the Shared Banking CU.  On top of that their ATM will not accept deposits!
Be careful on the ATMs here in Colorado Most 7-11 have COOP ATM some of the franchise one do not.  Those are mostly like the Conoco 7-11 which are not the same as a regular 7-11.
  |     |   Comment #19
Here is a tip if Traveling outside the US let your CU know if you plan on using the ATMs before you travel.  Otherwise you may find out that for security reasons they have put a hold on your card! That may mean you will have to get up in the middle of the night to call your CU to get everything straighten on out and international calls can run up your bill. 
  |     |   Comment #20
First of all, as a new fcu teller, Alliant do shared branching already when I got hired.
And for members of their own credit unions they don't have to close their account when they move locations. They can search online what is the nearest credit union in their location and call them if they participate shared branching with your own credit union so you can save time traveling and you know where to go.
They can let it stay open, specially when it earns good interest. But the downside is they can only withdraw cash on whatever's the limit of credit union they doing the transaction, but you can always request ahead if you plan to withdraw cash $500 or more by doing it personally or a courtesy phone call stating your name and your credit union and don't forget to leave a callback number. Another option is, they can open an account locally and do transfers if they like in that way they can let their money run around without any hassles :)
  |     |   Comment #21
As a business shares branch team group organizers of development digital media strategies spreading team groups sharing experience and knowledge 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. www.tax.com 

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