Differences between online banking vs credit unions



Hi everyone,

This is a general inquiry to learn more about online banking vs. credit unions (in BC, Canada). If you don’t have regional expertise any general information will be helpful.

I basically need help deciding which route to go? Opening an online checking account or going with a local credit union in my area. My biggest deciding factor is fees, and availability of the most bank machines to withdrawal money (with zero fees) as well as direct debit purchasing in retail (again no fees).

If i go with online banking, i am considering PC financial, Tangerine (the Candaian version of ING direct)


I like the idea of online banking because there is less overhead and with PCfinancial points going toward groceries (as it’s a discount grocery store). However there is a lot about credit unions i don’t know perhaps that’s the better route. What are the pros/cons between credit unions and zero-fee online banking given the criteria above.


Find a bank that doesnt have any balance requirements . That way you avoid any fees. Free checking is what you want.

As forretail purchases use a credit card from a major bank that offers cash back. You can get up to 5% cash back in certain categories. You also have zero liability on fraudulent purchases. Good luck getting your money back in your account from fraudulent use of a debit card. I only use debit cards at the atm, that way noone can see your account number and there is less chace of losing the card.


Check carefully what protection you have with a credit union, should they go bust.

In this country (UK) they are regulated differently. Also they don’t really offer current accounts (checking accounts), their main business is loans.