5 Facts About Alaska USA Federal Credit Union (AKUSA)
- Alaska USA Federal Credit Union is the 14th largest Credit Union in the United States
- This is based on the number of members the credit union had at the end of 2021.
- If we measure it based on the total assets, AKUSA is the 18th largest in the country.
- Not surprisingly, AKUSA is by far the largest credit union in the state of Alaska.
- Alaska USA Federal Credit Union Members have received an average of $76 in Dividends per year
- We measured this over the past three years.
- This equates to an average dividend rate on share deposits of 0.65%.
- Compared to AKUSA’s largest competitor in Alaska, Credit Union 1, this amount of dividend is impressive. Credit Union 1 has had a dividend rate of 0.39% over the past three years or $46 per member.
- We consider the credit union to be one of the best credit unions in Alaska
- We walked through our rationale in detail in the linked article.
- While the article didn’t explicitly discuss AKUSA’s dividend per member or dividend rate, these are both added positives.
- It is very easy to join Alaska USA Federal Credit Union
- All you have to do is live in Alaska to join the credit union.
- In fact, if you live San Bernardino County in California or Maricopa County in Arizona, you can also join the credit union.
- Alaska USA Federal Credit Union still does not partner with Zelle
- This is surprising given the size and scale of the credit union.
- Currently, members will have to sign up for the Zelle app separately if they want to use the payment service.
Below we go into more details about the Credit Union, including an overview of its history, eligibility criteria, products and services, and more.
Overview of Alaska USA Federal Credit Union
Alaska USA Federal Credit Union (AKUSA) was established in 1948 and is the largest credit union operating in the state of Alaska as measured by total assets and total members. AKUSA is also one of the largest credit unions in the United States. The credit union primarily focuses on providing auto loans which represented 57% of its lending activities. Currently, AKUSA has 69 branches across the states of Alaska, Arizona, California and Washington. The credit union employs 1,958 employees. AKUSA was part of our top four best credit unions in Alaska following our research in May 2022. We believe eligible consumers should consider joining the credit union if they reach the same conclusion after conducting their own due diligence.
Who Can Join The Credit Union?
People that live in Alaska, Washington, California’s San Bernardino County, and Arizona’s Maricopa County are eligible to join the credit union. The credit union has one of the broadest fields of membership among the credit unions in the state.
Products and Services Offered
The credit union offers many of the traditional financial accounts and services to its members which includes but is not limited to the following:
- Checking Accounts – there are three checking account options offered by AKUSA: Convenience Checking, Relationship Checking and Investor Checking. There is no monthly fee for the Convenience Checking account option when you set up a recurring direct deposit into the checking account. With Relationship Checking you must maintain a balance of $500 or more to avoid the monthly fee of $5.00. For the Investor Checking account you have to maintain a balance of $1,000 to avoid the monthly fee, but this account also earns dividends when you balance is above this amount.
- In terms of other account fees, the credit union charges a similar amount to other credit unions in the state, specifically $20 for wire transfers and $2 for cashier’s checks and $1.50 for money orders.
- Savings Accounts – the credit union has two options available for Savings Accounts, its Share Savings and its Premium Savings Accounts. The Share Savings account has no maintenance fee if you have at least $50 in your account and offers dividends. The Premium Savings account allows you to earn a higher return when your balance is above $10,000.
- Credit Cards – the Alaska USA Visa Credit Card is the main credit card offering from AKUSA. It offers reward points for each dollar spent, has no annual fee, no fees for foreign transactions, is compatible with Apple Pay and has rates as low as 10.5% as of this writing.
- Auto Loans – currently the credit union offers loans for new and used vehicles that can be as low as 3.35% for a 6-48 month term.
AKUSA also offers its members access to over 5,000 shared branches and over 50,000 nationwide surcharge free ATMs. However the credit union currently does not currently offer Zelle to its members.
How Does AKUSA Compare to Banks in Alaska?
If you are considering joining a credit union, it only makes sense to compare the benefits of joining the credit union to opening an account at a bank. In our comparison of credit unions vs banks we laid out the various differences between the two financial institutions. In Alaska, the banking landscape is dominated by the top 3 banks which combined have an 81% share of deposits within the state. The three largest banks in Alaska by market share are Wells Fargo, First National Bank of Alaska and Northrim Bank. When it comes to checking accounts the offerings from AKUSA measure up quite well compared to these banks.
We compared AKUSA’s investor checking account to comparable checking account offerings from the three largest banks in Alaska and overall we think AKUSA’s checking account is as good or better in terms of its offerings.
- Monthly Cost – AKUSA has a flat $5.00 per month maintenance fee for all of its checking accounts, which is consistent with First National Bank of Alaska’s First 20 Account and Northrim Bank’s Direct Tier Flex Checking account, but considerably lower than Wells Fargo’s Everyday Checking. However, the Investor Checking requires that you maintain $1,000 to avoid the monthly fee, which is on the high end of the banks.
- Earns Interest – the only other checking account in this tier that earns interest is from Northrim Bank. The fact that AKUSA’s Investor Checking account earns interest is a distinguishing factor compared to the other banks.
- Overdraft Fees – AKUSA has lower overdraft fees than each of the three banks listed. Of note, AKUSA’s overdraft fee does not start at $25. If your account is overdrawn by less than $5.00 there is no overdraft fee. If it is overdrawn by between $5.01 and $10.00, then the overdraft fee is $5.00. If it’s between $10.01 and $15.00 then the overdraft fee is $10.00 – it continues in $5.00 increments until a maximum of $25.00.
- ATM Benefits – AKUSA’s checking accounts do not have any ATM benefits. That said, the credit union does have a nationwide network of 50,000 surcharge free ATMs. In addition, of the three banks only Northrim Bank has ATM benefits as part of its checking account offerings. For its Direct Tier Flex Checking account, Northrim customers get up to $10 per month of ATM fees waived for domestic charges.
Overall we think AKUSA’s checking account offerings are as good or better than those offered by the leading banks in Alaska.
- Main Office Address: P.O. Box 196613, Anchorage, AK 99519-6613
- Website: https://www.alaskausa.org
- Phone: (907) 563-4567
- Charter Number: 5913
- Charter Year: 1948
- Employees: 1,958
- AKUSA Routing Number: 325272021
- Membership Trends: Credit unions in the state of Alaska have an average membership base of 91,857 compared with AKUSA which has total members of 711,111. Over the past three years, the credit union’s total base of members has increased by 7%.
- Total Assets: $10,716 million
- Total Loans: $8,454 million
- Total Net Worth: $972 million
- Total Net Worth Per Member: $1,367
- Net Worth Ratio: 9.1%. Based on the NCUA guidelines, this credit union is well capitalized.
Other Credit Unions in Alaska
There are currently 10 credit unions operating in the state of Alaska and combined these credit unions have 918,567 members. In addition to this credit union, you may also be eligible to join the following credit unions in the state: Alaska District Engineers Credit Union, Matanuska Valley Credit Union and True North Credit Union.