Banking » Reviews » Connexus Credit Union Review
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Connexus Credit Union Review

Connexus Credit Union offers checking accounts, high rates on share certificates and low rates on savings. Here's our verdict and how to join
Author: Baruch Mann (Silvermann)
Baruch Mann (Silvermann)

Writer, Contributor

Experience

Baruch Silvermann is a financial expert, experienced analyst, and founder of The Smart Investor.  Silvermann has contributed to Yahoo Finance and cited as an authoritative source in financial outlets like Forbes, Business Insider, CNBC Select, CNET, Bankrate, Fox Business, The Street, and more.
Interest Rates Last Update: June 3, 2024
The banking product interest rates, including savings, CDs, and money market, are accurate as of this date.
Author: Baruch Mann (Silvermann)
Baruch Mann (Silvermann)

Writer, Contributor

Experience

Baruch Silvermann is a financial expert, experienced analyst, and founder of The Smart Investor.  Silvermann has contributed to Yahoo Finance and cited as an authoritative source in financial outlets like Forbes, Business Insider, CNBC Select, CNET, Bankrate, Fox Business, The Street, and more.
Interest Rates Last Update: June 3, 2024

The banking product interest rates, including savings, CDs, and money market, are accurate as of this date.

We earn a commission from our partner links on this page. It doesn't affect the integrity of our unbiased, independent editorial staff. Transparency is a core value for us, read our advertiser disclosure and how we make money.

Connexus Credit Union

Connexus credit union
Connexus credit union

Connexus Credit Union

Fees

$0

Minimum Deposit

$0

Our Rating

4
4/5

APY Savings

0.10%

Credit unions can provide access to low cost banking and lending products, and Connexus Credit Union is a national institution with higher than average APYs on both checking and CD accounts. This credit union is based in Wisconsin and it has 15 branches across Wisconsin, Minnesota and Illinois, but customers who don’t reside in these states can enjoy access to 5.600 plus shared branches throughout the country.

As with most credit unions, there are some restrictions in place as to who can become a member. Membership is offered to employees, family members, retirees, students and student alumni of a variety of organizations and groups including Cintel and Liberty Mutual Insurance. You can also qualify for membership if you are a resident in communities or counties throughout Wisconsin, Minnesota and Ohio.

Fortunately, even if you don’t meet the above eligibility criteria, you can still become a member of Connexus Credit Union by supporting the Connexus Association with a one time $5 donation. The Connexus Association provides financial literacy education and scholarships, so you can join the credit union and support a good cause.

  • Easy to Join
  • No Account Maintenance Fees
  • High CD Yields
  • Low Minimums
  • Highly Rated App
  • Interactive Tools
  • High CD Minimums
  • Requirements For Interactive Checking
  • Lackluster Account Alternatives
  • Low Savings Account Yields

Is Connexus worth it for Joint Accounts?

Since Connexus does not have monthly maintenance fees and decent rates, it may be a good option for joint account holders. However, this will depend on your specific requirements. If you’re looking for the highest savings rates or don’t have $5,000 plus for a CD, you may need to look elsewhere.

Does Connexus offer a free checking account?

Yes, Connexus checking accounts have no monthly maintenance fees with the Xtraordinary account, you can even earn interest on your balance with qualifying debit card activity.

Is Connexus worth it if I have bad credit?

Connexus does offer several products that can help you to improve your credit and get your finances back on track. This includes the basic checking and savings accounts along with a choice of two secured credit cards.

What's the main reason to skip Connexus?

The main reason you may want to skip Connexus is if you’re looking for the highest rates of returns on your savings account. There are a number of online banks offering higher yields without the added complexity of needing to become a credit union member.

Table Of Content

Banking Services
Credit Options
Savings Accounts
Mortgage
Checking Accounts
Government Mortgage
CDs
Credit Cards
Money Market Account
Debit Card
Investing Capabilities
Personal Loans
Connexus credit union

Connexus Savings

APY Savings

0.10%

Minimum Deposit

$100

Promotion

None

Fees

$0

Connexus Savings

APY Savings

0.10%

Minimum Deposit

$100

Promotion

None

Fees

$0

Connexus offers three savings accounts; the Member Share Savings Account, Holiday Club account and a Junior Account. The Member Share Savings Account is the primary savings account and the key features  include:

  • Account Notifications: You can get email and text alerts to help you to track your account activity.
  • Mobile Check Deposit: You can use the app to deposit checks using your mobile device by simply snapping a photo.
  • Snapshot: You can view account balances on your phone without needing to log into the app.
  • Contactless Visa Debit Card: You can request a Contactless Visa Debit Card for your account with no charge for your first card.
  • Minimum Balance Requirement: The account has a $100 minimum balance requirement.
  • Inactivity Fee: There is a $5 monthly inactivity fee if you don’t have any transactions or activity on your account for at least 12 months.
  • Several Accounts Possible: If you want to have a separate Member Share account for each of your savings goals, this is permitted, as you may hold several accounts simultaneously.

However, Connexus savings rates are quite low, and those who are looking for a HYSA, may want to look elsewhere.

Connexus Holiday Club Account

The key features of the Holiday Club account are:

This account is designed to help you to save for the holidays. You can designate how much you want to save each payday and it will be direct deposited into your Holiday Club account automatically from your designated account. On October 1, your funds will be available for transfer.

This account renews automatically each year. If you wish to change the deposit amount, you can call the Connexus Credit Union helpline.

Connexus Jr Account For Children

The Connexus Jr account is designed for children and has some innovative features, including:

  • Fun interactive games to teach the under 12s about money management
  • Saving, spending and giving goals
  • Ability for parents to create chore lists and assign allowance funds
  • Separate app login for parents and children.

Connexus Share Certificates

APY Range

3.51% – 4.85%

Minimum Deposit

$5,000

Terms

12 months – 5 years

Fees

$0

Connexus Share Certificates

APY Range

3.51% – 4.85%

Minimum Deposit

$5,000

Terms

12 months – 5 years

Fees

$0

Connexus CDs or Share certificates are available with a variety of terms from 12 months to 60 months. This includes a 15 month special CD and Jumbo CDs.  There is also a Bump Up CD, which has a 24 month term and it allows you to “bump up” your rate once during the term.

The key features of Connexus CDs include:

  • High Yields: Regardless of the term, Connexus CDs offer some of the highest APYs in the market, allowing you to lock in the rate for the specified term.
  • Early Withdrawal Fees: If you need access to your funds before the maturity date, you will incur an early withdrawal fee. This is calculated according to the full CD term rather than the amount of time remaining. For CD terms of one year, the penalty is 90 days of interest. This increases to 180 days for CDs with a term of one year up to five years and 365 days for five year CDs.
  • Minimum Deposit Requirement: You need to deposit at least $5,000 to open a Connexus CD, but this minimum deposit requirement increases to $100,000 if you want to open a Jumbo CD.
CD Term
APY
12 Months
4.91% – 4.96%
15 Months (special)
5.25%
24 Months
4.53% – 4.58%
36 Months
4.11% – 4.16%
48 Months
3.81% – 3.86%
60 Months
3.41% – 3.46%

Overall, the short-term CD rates are quite high. For example, if you're looking for a 1-year CD, Connexus offers 4.91% – 4.96% APY, a very competitive rate compared to other credit union CD rates.

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Connexus Checking Account

Connexus Credit Union has two primary checking account packages plus a teen checking account.  The adult checking accounts have no maintenance fees or minimum balance requirements, but while the Xtraordinary account is interest bearing, the Innovative Checking is not.

1. Xtraordinary Checking

To earn the APY on your Xtraordinary Checking account, you’ll need to have at least 15 debit card purchases or a total of $400 plus in debit card spending. However, the highest APY is capped at a $25,000 balance.

If your balance is higher, the APY for these excessive funds drops to 0.25%. Another perk of this account is that you can receive up to $25 in reimbursements for ATM out of network fees.

2. Innovative Checking

Innovative Checking is a more basic account. It does not offer interest or dividends on your balance, but you don’t need to worry about any requirements.

As with Xtraordinary, there are no maintenance fees or minimums, but you’ll not get the perks of Xtraordinary, including ATM fee reimbursement.

Fortunately, you can access a network of over 67,000 ATMs throughout the country which do not charge a fee.

3. Teen Account

The Teen account is available for members aged 10 to 17.

It does not have any minimum balance requirements or monthly maintenance fees and currently pays 2.0% APY on balances up to $1,000.

If the account balance is over $1,000, the additional funds will earn a lower rate, currently set at 0.25%.

Pros and Cons

As with any financial institution, Connexus is not perfect and there are positives and potential negatives to consider.

Pros
Cons
Easy to Join
High CD Minimums
No Account Maintenance Fees
Requirements For Interactive Checking
Low Minimums
Lackluster Account Alternatives
High Certificate Yields
Low Savings Account Yields
Highly Rated App
Interactive Tools

One of the reasons why many people shy away from credit unions is the perception that it is difficult to become a member.

While this may be true with some credit unions, Connexus is available throughout the country and it is remarkably easy to become a member even if you don’t have a connection to the associated clubs and groups.

The checking and savings accounts have no maintenance fees and Connexus personal credit cards have no annual fees, making it easier to manage your money.

With a no-fee checking account, you can keep more of your money without worrying about account-related expenses.

The CD rates are competitive compared to other banks and credit union, which boosts the appeal of the entire banking product line.

With the exception of the CDs, the account minimums for Connexus products are either low or non existent.

The Connexus app is highly rated and offers a solid digital banking experience to manage your money on the go.

There are some excellent interactive tools offered by Connexus, particularly with the children’s accounts that help to teach them about managing money.

While the CD rates are not the highest on the market, you do need a minimum of $5,000, which could create a barrier to entry for many potential customers

While the Xtraordinary checking account is interest bearing, you do need to meet the debit card requirements in order to qualify for these rates.

While the primary checking and savings accounts have some excellent features, the alternative accounts tend to be a little lackluster, as they have minimal perks and benefits.

The saving account APYs does not compare favorably with other savings products offered from online banks.

Connexus Credit Cards

Connexus offers both personal and business cards. The selection of personal credit cards include:

  • Everyday Rewards+: This is the Connexus tiered rewards credit card offering up to four points for every dollar spent. The tiered reward structure is weighted towards take out, food delivery and dining, but there is also a category for grocery store purchases, streaming services and vehicle fuel or charging.
Connexus EVERYDAY REWARDS+ CARD

The card has a generous welcome bonus with a modest spend requirement for the first three months of ownership. There is also a 0% APR introductory rate on purchases and balance transfers for the first six months. You don’t even need to worry about an annual fee, as this card does not have one.

  • Max Cash Preferred: This is another reward card, but it offers more flexible rewards. There are two tiers and you can designate the everyday category to earn the higher tier with no reward cap. There is also a cash bonus if you meet the modest spending requirement and a 0% introductory APR for balance transfers for the first 12 months and no annual fee.
  • Platinum Card: As with the other Connexus personal credit cards, the Platinum card has no annual fee, but it offers 0% APR for balance transfers and purchases for the first 18 months, giving you the flexibility to pay in full or pay down your balance over time.
  • College Real Rewards: This card is designed to offer younger adults the potential to earn rewards and work towards establishing a strong financial future. The card has no annual fee, a points bonus and a 0% introductory rate for purchases and balance transfers for six months.
  • Max Cash Secured: As the name suggests, this is a secured rewards card offering up to 5% cash back on your purchases. You can designate two categories to receive a higher rate of cash back, with 1% cash back on all other eligible purchases. The card has no annual fee and your credit limit is determined by your refundable security deposit, which can be $300 to $5,000.
  • Secured Card: This basic secured credit card is designed for those who need to get their finances back on track. You get account alerts and free access to your credit score. The card has no annual fee and you can set your own credit limit with your refundable security deposit of $300 to $5,000.

Connexus Loans

Connexus offers a variety of loan products including personal loans, auto loans, home loans and student loans.

Personal loans are available with fixed, low rates and terms that can be tailored to your circumstances. There are secured and unsecured loan options and you could qualify for a loan of up to $50,000 with a term of up to 84 months.

One of the most appealing things about Connexus loans is that there is an easy application process and quick funding. You can apply by phone or online and if you’re approved, Connexus aims to issue the funds as quickly as possible.

How to Join Connexus Credit Union

Connexus makes it easy to open an account online and you can complete the process in a few basic steps from the appropriate product page.

1. Confirm the Applicant: The first step is to confirm if you’re applying on your own behalf or for a minor. You will also need to confirm if you’re already a Connexus member, but don’t worry if you’re not as you can become a member during the application process.

2. Select Your Eligibility: The next stage is to select your eligibility to become a Connexus member. You’ll be presented with a list of eligibility criteria, but there is a “none of the above” option, where you can make a $5 donation, as we discussed earlier.

3. Configure Your Account: You will then need to select the account details. For example, if you select Xtraordinary Checking, you’ll have the option to request a debit card, checks and authorize overdrafts on the account.

4. Complete the Application: This is fairly similar to the application as when you apply for a standard online bank account. You’ll need to provide your full name, address, date of birth, Social Security Number and contact details. You will also need to verify your identity by providing details of your driver’s license, passport or other state issued photo ID and snapping a photo of the document.

Add personal information when Joining Connexus Credit Union

Connexus Customer Service

Connexus has several branches in Wisconsin, Minnesota and Illinois, but you can also access in person customer support via the network of 5,600+ shared branches.

If you need to speak to a Connexus rep, the phone helpline is available 7 am to 7 pm Monday through Friday CT and Saturdays 8 am to 1 pm.

You can also access an online live chat feature on the website and app or you can submit the online form to request a response to a query and you should receive a response within one business day.

FAQs

As with a standard bank account, you’ll need to provide your personal details and verify your ID. However, you will also need to be a member of the Connexus credit union. This can be done via an association with certain groups or organizations or by making a $5 donation.

Additionally, depending on the type of account that you’re considering, you may first need to open a Share Savings Account.

Yes, Connexus has NCUA (National Credit Union Administration) coverage to protect your money. This is a government agency and offers similar protections to the FDIC insurance offered with typical bank accounts.

Connexus does offer investment services, so you may be able to purchase gold shares or ETFs.

 

How We Rate And Review Credit Unions: Our Methodology

The Smart Investor team extensively reviewed hundreds of banks and credit unions. We assessed them based on four main categories, each with specific features:

  • Diversity of Products and Their Attractiveness (40%): We extensively analyzed the breadth and appeal of each bank's product offerings, including savings accounts, checking accounts, loans, investment options, and more. Higher ratings were assigned to banks with a diverse range of products that are attractive in terms of interest rates, fees, terms, and additional features. This category provides insights into the variety and value of the bank's offerings, crucial for meeting customers' diverse financial needs.

  • Account Features (30%): This category delves into the features and benefits accompanying each bank's accounts. We scrutinized factors such as promotions, deposit and withdrawal options, ATM accessibility, online and mobile banking functionalities, as well as additional perks like overdraft protection and rewards programs. Banks offering comprehensive and convenient features received higher ratings, reflecting the overall value of their accounts to customers.

  • Customer Experience (20%): A positive customer experience is paramount in banking, so we evaluated each bank's performance in this area. This included assessing the ease of account opening, quality of customer service, availability of support channels, and overall user satisfaction. Ratings were based on factors such as responsiveness, efficiency, and the bank's commitment to meeting customer needs, ensuring a seamless and satisfactory banking experience.

  • Bank Reputation (10%): The reputation of a bank is a critical consideration for customers. We examined factors such as financial stability, regulatory compliance, and public perception to determine each institution's overall trustworthiness and reliability. Higher ratings were awarded to banks with strong reputations, reflecting their credibility and ability to inspire confidence among customers.

  •  

By considering these categories, individuals can make informed decisions that align with their financial needs and preferences, ensuring they choose a bank that offers competitive products, excellent features, a positive customer experience, and a solid reputation.

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Picture of Baruch Mann (Silvermann)

Baruch Mann (Silvermann)

Baruch Silvermann is a financial expert, experienced analyst, and founder of The Smart Investor.  Silvermann has contributed to Yahoo Finance and cited as an authoritative source in financial outlets like Forbes, Business Insider, CNBC Select, CNET, Bankrate, Fox Business, The Street, and more.
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