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PSECU Review: Digital-First Approach With Great Products

Our review of PSECU looks at the credit unions account offerings, fee policy, convenience, and digital banking tools available to members.

Sponsored Content Disclosure: This content was commissioned and paid for by the bank advertiser. The content was reviewed and approved by the advertiser prior to publication.

PSECU is a Pennsylvania-based credit union with a digital-first approach that allows it to provide attractive products and services - rivaling the best on the market.

With great offerings, convenient access, and easy membership qualifications, you may consider PSECU as your next financial institution.

Discover the main highlights of PSECU’s products and services below to see if it’s right for you.

Product Spotlights

For many consumers, products are the biggest driver when choosing a financial institution for their banking. And PSECU offers a long list of products that can rival the best on the market.

The most notable are:

Founder’s Rewards Card

  • Why we like it: There’s the potential to earn 2%1 or 1.5% cash rewards (minimum 1.5% cash rewards) on all card purchases.

The Founder’s Card is positioned as the ideal cash rewards credit card for general spending because few credit cards on the market can deliver 2% cash rewards. 

To earn 2% cash rewards, you must maintain a PSECU checking account and qualifying monthly direct deposit(s) of at least $500. Otherwise, you earn 1.5% cash rewards on all purchases.

With no annual fee or limits on cash rewards earned, the Founder’s Card will always have a place in your wallet.

Visa Classic Card (Balance Transfer)

  • Why we like it: With an extremely low balance transfer APR2 and no PSECU balance transfer fee, it’s a great way to reduce or eliminate debt.

The Visa® Classic Card is useful for those who want to consolidate high interest credit card debt. 

Borrowers can transfer their other higher-rate credit card debt to the PSECU Visa Classic Card and save on interest charges.

PSECU Checking Account

  • Why we like it: PSECU’s checking account doesn’t have any monthly fees and members can earn cash rewards on debit card purchases based on qualifying factors.3

Typically, a basic checking account from a local bank will require a minimum account balance or monthly direct deposit in order to waive a monthly maintenance fee.

PSECU’s checking account doesn’t have any monthly service fees, which means members don’t have to worry about meeting any such requirements.

Additionally, members can earn cash rewards on debit card purchases (another feature that is uncommon in checking accounts):

  • Earn $0.10 cash rewards on eligible purchases of $10 or over with a PSECU checking account and one or more qualifying monthly direct deposits totaling at least $500
  • Otherwise, earn $0.05 cash rewards on eligible purchases of $10 or over for accounts with a PSECU checking account

How Easy is it to Access Your Money?

PSECU has three physical locations in Pennsylvania - two service centers in Harrisburg and one financial center in State College (no teller transactions at this location).

To provide greater convenience to members, PSECU offers consumer-friendly ATM access and anytime, anywhere digital banking tools.

ATM Access

PSECU members have access to nearly 30,000 surcharge-free ATMs nationwide under the CO-OP network. 

When the option is available, members can deposit cash, withdraw cash, and check their account balances without any fees at these ATMs. CO-OP ATMs are typically located in places that you shop frequently, including local supermarkets, convenience stores, and drugstores.

PSECU will rebate up to $8 per month in surcharge fees from out-of-network ATMs (usually, an out-of-network ATM operator will charge roughly $3 per transaction). Members with direct deposit are eligible for up to $20 per month in ATM rebates.

With the fee rebates, members have more flexibility to use any nearby ATM.

Mobile Banking App

Smartphones and mobile devices have become a vital part of how consumers manage their money. So, feature-packed mobile banking apps can help perform essential transactions anytime, anywhere.

PSECU offers free mobile banking apps on the Apple iOS and Google Android mobile platforms.

Using the PSECU mobile banking app, members can:

  • View account balances and activity
  • Make mobile deposits
  • Pay bills
  • Transfer money to other people
  • Lock/unlock debit and credit cards
  • Configure account alerts
  • Check their credit score (PSECU is not a credit reporting agency. Members must have PSECU checking or a PSECU loan to be eligible for this service. Joint owners are not eligible.)
  • Locate nearby ATMs

For most people, the mobile app is capable of tackling the bulk of everyday banking tasks at any time without the need to visit a physical location.

Membership Eligibility

Every credit union has its own criteria for eligibility to become a member.

There are four main ways to become a PSECU member:

Family or Household Resident

You live with a PSECU member or are a qualifying relative of a PSECU member.

Qualifying relatives include parents, children, grandparents, grandchildren, spouse, and siblings.

Education

You attend, graduated from, or currently work at one of the many Pennsylvania colleges or universities with which PSECU has a relationship.

Employee

You are a Pennsylvania state or local government employee, a municipality or school district employee, or an employee of a company that offers membership as a benefit (offered by more than 1,000 employers in Pennsylvania). 

Pennsylvania Recreation and Park Society Membership

For anyone else who wouldn’t qualify for PSECU membership, you can become a member of the Pennsylvania Recreation and Park Society (PRPS), which would then allow you to be eligible to become a PSECU member.

PRPS Friend membership requires a one-time fee of $20, but PSECU will cover $10 of that fee.

Credit Unions vs. Banks

For many people, switching from a bank to a credit union is a big change. It’s understandable, as some don’t know much about how credit unions work, while others can’t break from the familiarity of banks.

Credit unions are not-for-profit financial institutions, and members are actually owners of the organization. Surplus earnings are returned to members in various ways, such as through low- or no-fee products and services, lower borrowing rates, higher dividends, and additional services or features.

From PSECU, examples include:

  • Deposit accounts with no fees to open and maintain
  • ATM rebates
  • Low interest rates on loans and credit cards
  • Cash reward debit and credit cards

An arguable downside is the significantly fewer number of physical locations compared to the nation’s largest banks, which tend to operate extensive branch networks. But the reality is that many people don’t have to make a trip to a branch for a majority of their banking. You may already realize that you have been able to conduct your banking entirely through online, mobile, and ATM banking.

PSECU’s member-friendly ATM rebates, partnership with the CO-OP ATM network, and digital banking tools are likely more than enough to complete essential banking transactions.

Deposit Insurance

The security of your deposits is a legitimate concern. You want to make sure that your money is safe in the event that your financial institution shuts down.

Banks have deposit insurance from the FDIC, which insures up to $250,000 per person per account ownership type at each FDIC-insured bank.

Credit unions offer the same level of deposit insurance from the NCUA. According to the NCUA, credit union members have never lost insured money at federally-insured credit unions.

Deposits held in PSECU are insured by the NCUA and are just as safe as in FDIC-insured banks.

Conclusion

Whether you’re looking for your first account or switching from another financial institution, PSECU is a stellar option when you consider the impressive range of products and services that are highly competitive compared to those offered by the biggest banks and lenders.

1) You can earn 1.5% cash rewards on purchases. You can earn 2% cash rewards on purchases if you maintain a PSECU checking account and qualifying monthly direct deposit of at least $500. See the Visa® Founder's Card and Visa® Alumni Rewards Card Rewards Program Terms and Conditions for full details.

2) Annual Percentage Rate. 

3) You can earn $0.10 cash rewards on eligible purchases of $10 or over with a PSECU checking account and one or more qualifying monthly direct deposits totaling at least $500. You can earn $0.05 cash rewards on eligible purchases of $10 or over for accounts with a PSECU checking account. Certain restrictions may apply. See the Visa® Debit Card Rewards Program Terms and Conditions for full details.