Credit unions are among the best places to look for an affordable credit card. Many offer some of the lowest rate cards on the market, and some even offer generous rewards rates. Here’s a list of credit union cards with low APRs and strong rewards – and how to qualify for them.
It can be tough to find an affordable card these days, even if you have great credit. Cards with genuinely low interest rates have become all-but-extinct at major issuers.
However, if you plan to carry a balance or want a low interest credit card just in case, you’re still in luck: Cards with APRs as low as 7.00% to 10.00% still exist. You just need to look beyond the largest credit card issuers to find them.
Credit unions are among the best places to look for an affordable credit card. Many credit unions, for example, offer some of the lowest rate cards on the market.
You also don’t necessarily have to give up earning generous rewards to snag a low-rate card. Even the best credit union credit cards that earn rewards, still have low-interest rates – as low as 10.00% and as high as 18.00%.
Credit union credit cards for everyone
One drawback of credit union cards is that most credit unions restrict who can be a member. For example, some credit unions limit membership is based on where you live. Others require you to work at certain companies or in specific professions.
Not all credit unions are exclusive, though: A few will allow you to join if you become a member of an organization with a small membership fee or if you donate to a good cause.
For example, Affinity Federal Credit Union lets you become a member if you donate $5 to the New Jersey Coalition for Financial Education or to the Connecticut Jump$tart Coalition, both financial literacy nonprofit organizations.
15 credit union credit cards that anyone can get
Other than those membership criteria, credit union cards really are open to everyone. For anyone who has a lower credit score or has some credit debt, you could always consider a secured credit card. However, if you only have a little debt and would still prefer the flexibility of an unsecured credit card, here are some of the best cards you can get from credit unions.
Visa Platinum card from Vision Financial Federal Credit Union
This Visa Platinum is a plain vanilla credit card that charges an APR of 18% variable, though in return you get 1% cash back on all purchases. Plus, the card has no annual or balance transfer fees. It’s also contactless and compatible with mobile wallets, like Apple Pay or Google Pay. As for benefits, you’ll get zero liability and purchase protection, roadside assistance and more.
How to qualify: You must live, work or worship in specified areas in New York, Pennsylvania or New Jersey. Membership is also available to anyone who works for an employer partnered with the credit union.
Visa Platinum card from People’s Trust FCU
This financial co-op also offers a basic, low-rate credit card, its own Visa Platinum card. The APR on the co-op’s Visa Platinum card starts at 7.90% to 17.90% variable, depending on your credit score. Unfortunately, it has no rewards program, but it does come with no annual fee and a 25-day interest-free grace period.
How to qualify: Open a Membership Savings account and deposit at least $5.
Visa Platinum card from Unify Financial Credit Union
You can also count on a low APR with the Visa Platinum card from Unify Financial Credit Union. This credit union’s Visa Platinum card charges a fixed-rate APR of 9.49%. This card charges no annual fee, and its credit limit goes up to $50,000.
If your credit score cannot qualify for the Visa Platinum, you should consider the credit union’s other cards, like the Visa Gold (fixed APR of 9.24%) or the Visa Classic (fixed APR of 9.49%).
How to qualify: You must work or live in qualified areas, be referred by another member or donate to become a member of the Surfrider Foundation or Friends of Hobbs.
Visa Signature card from Signature Federal Credit Union
Are you looking for a flat-rate cash back card? If so, Signature Federal Credit Union offers a credit card with a flat 2% cash back (or 2X points) on everything you buy. The APR starts at 8.70%, and it comes with no annual , balance transfer, cash advance or foreign transaction fees. Like other Visa Signature cards, this credit union version provides benefits like roadside dispatch, trip delay reimbursement and access to a Visa Signature Concierge.
How to qualify: One should be related to a current member, work for an employer on the credit union’s specified list or join through the American Consumer Council.
MyPerks Rewards card from Kinecta Credit Union
A good card for gas and grocery purchases, the Kinecta MyPerks Rewards card offers 3% cash back (up to $6,000), 2% cash back on groceries (up to $6,000) and 1% cash back on everything else. There’s no annual fee, and its regular APR is 9.99% to 18% variable. In addition, it gives you up to a 20% annual bonus for your loyalty on your anniversary.
To help you with any credit debt you may have, the card also has a 0% intro APR on balance transfers for 18 months, as long as you do the balance transfer within 90 days of opening your account.
How to qualify: You can qualify by living, working or studying in select areas or if you’re related to a current Kinecta member. You may also join through your employer (select employers only) or join the Innovision Society (Kinecta will cover your $10 membership fee).
Max Rewards Visa Credit Card from Lake Michigan Credit Union
There aren’t many no-annual-fee cards that offer this much value on everyday purchases. The Max Rewards Visa Credit Card earns 3% cash back (or 3X points) for gas purchases on up to $500, 2% cash back on groceries (or 2X points) and 2% cash back on restaurants. On all other purchases it earns 1% cash back.
The APR goes as low as 10.00% variable. Other benefits include zero-liability fraud protection and free car rental insurance. For those who’d think they would qualify for a credit limit higher than $5,000 (to improve your credit utilization ratio), you could ask about the Max Rewards Visa Signature card.
How to qualify: Unlike many of the credit unions on this list, Lake Michigan Credit Union has no requirements for you to become a member.
Odyssey Rewards World Elite Mastercard from First Tech
One of the most premium rewards cards on this list, the Odyssey Rewards World Elite Mastercard is a rare card, offering quite generous rewards and the lowest minimum APR we’ve seen. It offers 2X points on dining (including takeout and delivery) as well as 30,000 bonus points if you spend $3,000 in the first three months.
As a World Elite Mastercard, it also offers some perks like purchase assurance and $5 credit every month you rideshare with Lyft at least three times. Unlike other rewards cards, this one’s APR is low at 6.99% to 18% variable, and all you’ll pay is a $75 annual fee (waived for the first year).
How to qualify: To become a member, you must have a relative who’s already a First Tech member, work for a partner of the credit union or the State of Oregon. You also qualify if you work or live in Lane County, Oregon. If not, you may join if you’re a member of the Computer History Museum or the Financial Fitness Association.
Ultimate Cash Perks card from Summit Credit Union
Issued by Summit Credit Union, this bonus category cash back card earns 3% cash back on airlines, 2% cash back on hotels and dining and 1.5% cash back on all other purchases. Not only is the 1.5% cash back on all other purchases rare, even among cash back cards offered by the major issuers, but also its variable APR goes as low as 7.90%.
As for other benefits, the card comes with complimentary Visa Signature Concierge services, alongside other Visa Signature perks. The Ultimate Cash Perks card even gives you up to $200 per renewal cycle for TSA PreCheck and Global Entry. All this comes to you for no annual fee.
How to qualify: Summit Credit Union has an open charter, so anyone can join it.
Visa Colorado Rewards Credit Card from Bellco Credit Union
The Visa Colorado Rewards Credit Card, issued by Bellco Credit Union, offers 3X points on a large variety of everyday categories like grocery stores, gas stations, movie theaters, fitness clubs and more. It also has a limited-time offer of 5X points on purchases at select local Colorado restaurants and small businesses.
In addition, it offers 2X points on cable, internet and phone bills that you pay for with your card. For a sign-up bonus, you’ll get 15,000 bonus points if you charge $500 within the first 90 days. However, its regular APR is higher than many of the other cards on this list at 21%.
How to qualify: You’re eligible to join based on your location, family and employer in Colorado. If not, you may join Bellco Credit Union if you also join Consumers United Association or Bellco Foundation.
Visa Signature Everyday Rewards+ Card from Chevron Federal Credit Union
This credit card from Chevron Federal Credit Union provides fairly generous rewards with 4X points on dining, takeout and food delivery and 2X points on groceries, gas and streaming services. It also earns 1X points on all other purchases.
You’ll also get a welcome bonus of 15,000 points if you spend $500 in the first 90 days. As for the regular APR, it ranges from 12.24% to 17.99% variable. For anyone planning for a big purchase soon, you even get 0% intro APR for the first six billing cycles on new purchases and balance transfers.
How to qualify: Like other credit unions, you can qualify based on employer, location or family. If not, you may join if you’re a member of Chevron Federal Credit Union’s nonprofit partner associations like Financial Fitness Association or Contra Costa County Historical Society.
Visa Signature Rewards card from Consumers Credit Union
A solid everyday spending card, the Consumers Credit Union card offers 3X points on grocery and convenience stores (up to $6,000 a year), 2X points on gas and 1X point on all other purchases. For the first 12 months, this credit union card has a 0% intro APR on new purchases and balance transfers, then the regular APR will kick in, from 9.70% to 20.70% (still low compared to most rewards cards).
How to qualify: You only need to pay a one-time, $5 membership fee to the Consumers Cooperative Association.
Cash Rewards Visa Signature Credit Card from Affinity Federal Credit Union
Bookworms and families will love this unusual cash back card. It earns quite high rewards – 5% cash back on bookstores and Amazon (up to $3,500 a month) and 2% cash back at supermarkets, restaurants and gas stations. It also earns 2% cash back on “watch, listen and ride services” like Netflix, Spotify and Uber, plus 1% all other purchases.
In addition, the Cash Rewards Visa Signature offers a generous $200 cash bonus if you charge $3,000 within the first 90 days. All these benefits are available to you at no annual fee, and its regular APR is relatively low at 12.75% to 15.75% variable.
How to qualify: You may join if you’re also a part of more than 2,000 business, associations and clubs they partner with. If not, you may donate $5 to the New Jersey Coalition for Financial Education or to the Connecticut Jump$tart Coalition.
Go Premier Mastercard credit card from GTE Financial
This credit union credit card issued by GTE Financial easily competes with the most popular rewards cards on the market because of its lavish rewards on everyday purchases. You’ll get 3X points on gas, travel and restaurants, 2X points at grocery stores and home improvement stores and 1X point on all other purchases.
It also provides a decent 10,000-point sign-up bonus if you charge $3,000 within the first three months. However, its APR is on the higher end starting at 12.99% (variable), though it’s still lower than many other cards with similar rewards.
How to qualify: Other than your family, workplace and location, you can also be eligible for GTE Financial by joining its CU Savers club.
Platinum Mastercard from TFCU
The Platinum Mastercard from TFCU doesn’t have a rewards program, but it does offer a low-interest APR for six billing cycles at 6.90% on balance transfers. After that, the APR will rise to 9.15% to 17.90% variable – which is still quite low – depending on your creditworthiness.
How to qualify: It seems you only qualify if you live, work or worship in El Paso County in Texas.
Premier Privileges Rewards Mastercard from Premier America Credit Union
Do you want a low-interest card but don’t want to sacrifice other benefits, like travel insurance or purchase protection? If so, consider Premier America Credit Union’s Premier Privileges Rewards Mastercard.
For no annual fee, you earn 1.5X points on all purchases and get 0% intro APR on balance transfers for six months. After that, the APR stays fixed between 10.99% to 20.49%, depending on your creditworthiness. You’ll also get great perks such as trip cancellation or interruption insurance, purchase protection and baggage insurance.
How to qualify: You’ll need to join Thousand Oaks Alliance for the Arts. Fees will vary, depending on the donor program that you choose.
It may feel intimidating to apply for a credit union card since it can be a multistep process if you aren’t already a member. The money you save on interest (and the extra generous rewards you may be able to earn), however, could make it more than worth the hassle.