When you think of savings accounts, business loans, lines of credit, and mortgages, you might automatically think about banks. The truth is, banks aren’t the only financial institutions that offer financial products. You can find banking products from alternative lenders and credit unions as well.
Credit unions provide most of the same financial services and products as a bank. However, credit unions have a different business model. At a credit union, every client is a shareholder. You’re not just a customer, you’re a member that can vote on a board of directors. Like banks, deposits and investments in a credit union are insured by the CDIC. Furthermore, credit unions often offer more personalized service, community events, and competitive interest rates.
Who Is Vancity Credit Union?
Founded in 1946, Vancity Credit Union is a Vancouver-based credit union that provides financial services to 543,000 member-owners. The credit union provides services to members in the Coast Salish and Kwakwaka’wakw Indigenous territories and has 55 branches across British Columbia.
The largest credit union in Canada, Vancity is dedicated to improving the financial health of its members and is known for investing in affordable housing.
What Does Vancity Credit Union Offer?
Vancity offers a wide range of financial services to its members, including banking, credit cards, mortgages, loans, investments, and insurance. Vancity Credit Union offers various channels for you to do your banking, including in-branch, online, mobile, or via telephone or ATM.
Vancity offers 7 different chequing accounts, with the following three being the most popular:
E-Package Chequing: This account features unlimited, everyday transactions as long as members hold a minimum monthly balance of $1,000.
- No monthly fee with a minimum balance of $1,000 (otherwise $7.75/month)
- Free debits, Interac e-transfers, and pre-authorized payments
Pay As You Go Chequing: This account features a $0 monthly fee, and the ability to pay as you go for every transaction.
- Unlimited everyday transactions with a minimum balance of $1,000
- Per-transaction fee, but no monthly fee
Access Chequing: This account is specifically tailored to members with disabilities.
- 40 free everyday transactions per month
- No ATM fees
- Free Interac e-transfers
Vancity offers 4 different savings accounts.
Plan 24 Savings: This account is great for members who don’t make too many transactions, and for those who want a flexible option and minimum account fees.
- 10 free everyday, in-person or debit transactions per month
- Unlimited, free everyday mobile and online transactions, excluding Interac e-transfers
Plan 24 Savings Plus: This account tailors additional benefits to members under the age of 25 or over the age of 55.
- No monthly fee
- Unlimited everyday transactions
Jumpstart® High-Interest Savings Account: This account boasts the highest possible interest rate on savings, with no minimum monthly balance.
- Unlimited everyday online and mobile transactions, excluding interac e-transfers
- Highest interest rate
- Option to set up account as an RRSP or TFSA
Shared Success Patronage Account: This is Vancity’s profit-sharing savings account.
- Based on business done with Vancity
- Shared Success Bonus paid on interest from non-registered chequing savings or term deposit accounts
- Shared Success Rebate paid on interest paid on loans and mortgages
- Shared Success Invest Bonus paid on the average balance of non-registered investments
Vancity offers 3 different kinds of credit cards. Each credit card has an interest rate of 19.50%.
Enviro Visa Infinite Card: With a $120 monthly fee, this credit card offers between 1.25 to 10 points for every $1 spent. It also offers additional insurance coverage and benefits.
Enviro Gold Visa Card: With a $99 monthly fee, this credit card 1 reward point for every $1 spent. It also offers additional insurance coverage.
Enviro Classic Visa Card: With a $0 monthly fee, this credit card offers 1 reward point for every $2 spent.
Open Term Mortgage: Vancity’s open-term mortgage offers total repayment flexibility, with no penalties.
- Terms of 6 months to 5 years available
- Quick repayment without penalty
- Fixed or variable rate
- Ability to reassign the mortgage
Fixed Term Mortgage: Vancity’s fixed-term mortgage offers the stability of the same interest rate across the term of your mortgage.
- Terms of 6 months to 10 years
- Ability to borrow up to 95% of your home’s value
- Predictable payment schedule and interest rate
- Cashback option available
- Ability to reassign the mortgage
Similar in range to Vancity’s mortgages, Vancity’s loan options are abundant.
- Terms from 6 months to 7 years
- Wide variety of assets that can be used as collateral
- Flexible payment schedule
- Ability to save interest by paying down debt faster
Online Vancity Fair & Fast Loan™: This loan is the quickest possible option, offering access to cash in less than ten minutes.
- Terms of 2 weeks to 2 years
- Loan amounts from $100 to $2,500
- No credit check – income-based approval
- Interest rate of 19%
Line Of Credit
Vancity offers two different types of lines of credit.
Personaline Line of Credit
- Overdraft protection
- Easy access to cash through cheque or ATM
- Maximum of $5,000
Creditline Line of Credit
- Minimum amount of $5,000
- Maximum amount depends on your eligibility
- Variable interest rate
Vancity offers many different kinds of investments, including RRSPs, RESPs, TFSAs, RRIFs, and RDSPs.
RRSPs (Registered Retirement Savings Plan): Members can save for retirement with tax deductions and a variety of investment options such as savings accounts, term deposits, mutual funds, stocks, and bonds.
TFSAs (Tax-Free Savings Account): With maximum contributions of $5,500 per year, members can earn tax-free investment income with a TFSA.
RESPs (Registered Education Savings Plan): Members can save up for post-secondary education at a maximum of $50,000 per beneficiary.
Term Deposits: Eligible for RRSPs, RESP, TFSA, and RRIF, members can access terms from 30 days to 5 years.
RRIFs (Registered Retirement Income Funds): This account lets members accumulate growth tax-deferred until they withdraw funds.
RDSP (Registered Disability Savings Plan): This long-term, tax-sheltered investment provides savings for Canadians with disabilities.
Jumpstart High-Interest Savings Account: This investment offers the most competitive interest rate out of all of Vancity’s products.
Mutual Funds, Stocks, and Bonds: This investment offers a variety of mutual funds, stocks, and bonds, paired with financial, professional guidance and advice.
Socially Responsible Investments: These investments offer both financial returns and positive social returns, such as environmental protection and respectful business practices.
Vancity Credit Union has a subsidiary, Vancity Life Insurance Services. This subsidiary offers personal and business insurance, life insurance, and retirement planning services.
How To Become A Vancity Credit Union Member?
To become a member of Vancity Credit Union, you must meet the following criteria:
- Be a resident of British Columbia
- Have a valid social insurance number (SIN)
- Be prepared to deposit a minimum of $5 per account for membership shares
If you meet the above criteria, you can book a call to arrange your membership.
Vancity Credit Union FAQs
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Is Vancity Credit Union safe to bank with?
How do I reach Vancity Credit Union Customer service?
Overall, Vancity Credit Union offers quite a wide range of financial products, with lots of flexibility. Their services are well tailored for anybody’s unique financial needs. Additionally, their sense of social responsibility through socially responsible investment options and dedication to affordable housing is admirable.