Consumer Payment Card News

CUs vs Banks

While credit cards issued by banks carry lower average interest rates than those issued by credit unions, there are huge differences in the fee structures between the two issuers. A new report has found that national credit unions have, on average, lower penalty rates, longer grace periods and less aggressive fees for late payments, overlimit situations, cash advances, and balance transfers. The study by Chicago-based Woodstock Institute concluded that credit union issuers have demonstrated credit card lending can be done without exorbitant fees and without confusing terms, unlike bank issuers. However, Woodbridge acknowledged that credit unions have overall lower-cost structures than banks.

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|_3. CARD PRICING – ISSUER TYPE |
|_. | Credit Unions | Banks |
|_. Avg Purchase APR | 12.29% | 12.11% |
|_. Avg Penalty APR | 19.80% | 25.40% |
|_. Grace Period Days | 25.0 | 21.5 |
|_. Late Payment Fees* | $25.00 | $39.00 |
|_. Over-Limit Fees | $17.90 | $33.60 |
|_. Cash Advance Fees | 1.83% | 3.20% |
|_. Balance Transfer Fees| 2.00% | 3.00% |
|_3. * highest late fees as an average cannot be determined since many issuers used a tiered structure. |
|_3. Source: Woodstock Institute |

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