Assiniboine Credit Union Review: Another Option for Banking In Winnipeg

Assiniboine Credit Union Review: Another Option for Banking In Winnipeg

Canada’s credit unions have long been known for their customer service and commitment to the local community. Unfortunately, they haven’t always been competitive in the range of banking products and services they offer compared with the big banks. But times are changing, and today, digital technology investments allow small credit unions to compete more closely with the RBCs and TDs of the world. In this Assiniboine Credit Union Review, I’ll let you know how a small Manitoba credit union is keeping up.

Introducing Assiniboine Credit Union

If you’re unfamiliar with Assiniboine Credit Union, or ACU, it’s probably because you live outside of Manitoba. Winnipeg-based Assiniboine Credit Union is Manitoba’s second-largest credit union, next to Steinbach Credit Union. ACU has 18 branches, including two located in northern Manitoba. They have over $5 billion in assets and serve more than 125,000 customers. ACU was formed in 2007, with the merger of Astra and Vantis credit unions.

Assiniboine Chequing Accounts

ACU members have five chequing accounts to choose from, including 1 US Dollar account. Here’s a breakdown of the key features of each chequing account service plan:

ACU Light

For $3/month, or free if you maintain a minimum balance of $1,000, the ACU Light Plan is a pay-as-you-go chequing – only pay for the transactions you make. Online, mobile, or telephone transfers between ACU accounts are free. ATM withdrawals, debit card purchases, pre-authorized debits, and bill payments are also free if the minimum balance is maintained.

Key Features

  • $3/month, free if $1,000 account balance is maintained
  • Intra-account transfers are free
  • Mobile deposits are free

ACU Active

ACU Active is available for $7/month, or free if a minimum balance of $1,000 is maintained throughout the month. If you’re under 18 or over 60 the monthly fee is also waived. The account includes 35 electronic transactions, five in-branch transactions, and free deposits.

Key Features

  • $7/month, free with a $1,000 minimum monthly balance
  • Monthly fee waived for under 18 or over 60
  • Intra-account transfers are free
  • Mobile deposits are free

ACU Digital

The ACU Digital plan offers unlimited digital transactions for $10/month. If you’re between 18-24, the fee drops to $7/month, and $3/month if you’re under 18 or over 60. The monthly fee is waived altogether if you maintain an account balance of $3500 or more. You also get 10 free e-Transfers per month.

Key Features

  • Unlimited digital transactions
  • $10/month, free with a $3,500 minimum monthly balance
  • $7/month for clients between 18 and 24
  • $3/month for under 18 or over 60
  • 10 free e-Transfers per month
  • Intra-account transfers are free
  • Mobile deposits are free

ACU Unlimited

Assiniboine Credit Union offers the ACU Unlimited chequing account for members who transact daily or more. The regular monthly fee is $16.50, $13.50 if between 18 and 24, and $9.50 if you’re under 18 or over 60. The plan is free with a minimum monthly balance of $5000. Other features, listed below, are included in this account plan.

Key Features

  • Unlimited transactions
  • $16.50/month, free with a $5,000 minimum monthly balance
  • $13.50/month for clients between 18 and 24
  • $9.50/month for under 18 or over 60
  • 10 free e-Transfers per month
  • 4 free Interac ATM withdrawals
  • Free cheque orders
  • Free CAD and US bank drafts
  • Free small safety deposit box
  • Intra-account transfers are free
  • Mobile deposits are free

USD Chequing

If you need a place to store your US cash, the ACU US Chequing account will do the trick. There’s no monthly fee, although you do only get 2 free transactions per month (digital or in-branch.) Online or mobile CAD/US transfers between Assiniboine accounts are free.

Key Features

  • No monthly fee
  • 2 free transactions per month
  • Transfers between ACU accounts are free (online or mobile)
  • Free deposits

ACU Transaction Fees

  • ATM Withdrawal (ACU or other Credit Union ATMs) $0.50
  • Debit purchases $0.50
  • Pre-authorized debits $0.50
  • Bill payment (mobile/online/telephone) $0.50
  • In-Branch Debit $0.70
  • ATM Withdrawal (non-credit union ATMs) $1.50
  • Interac e-Transfer $1.00
  • In-Branch $1.50

Free Transactions

  • Mobile deposits
  • Intra-Account Transfers (online, mobile, telephone banking)

Assiniboine Savings Accounts

Credit Unions are known for their savings accounts, and Assiniboine is no different. There are four savings accounts in the lineup: Everyday Savings, High Rate Savings, Matched Savings Account, and the Youth High Rate Savings. Let’s take a closer look at each one:

Everyday Savings

  • No monthly fee
  • 2 free digital transactions per month
  • 1 free in-branch transaction per month
  • Earn daily interest on your closing balance
  • Interest rate: 0.05% on full balance (as at Dec. 8/21)

High Rate Savings

  • No monthly fee
  • Earn daily interest on your closing balance
  • Free deposits
  • Tiered interest rates: 0.65% ($0-$100,000) / 0.80% ($100,000-$249,000) / 0.95% ($250,000+)

Matched Savings Account

ACU has partnered with SEED Winnipeg and United Way Winnipeg to offer matched savings to anyone living on a low-income. There are three programs: Savings Circle (10 weeks of money management training and a 3:1 savings match), Individual Development Account (2:1 savings match towards tuition, disability support, or to start a business), and the Inner City Home Buyers Plan (which helps those on a low-income save for a house down payment with a 1:1 savings match.)

Youth High Rate Savings

  • No monthly fee
  • 20 free digital transactions per month
  • Free deposits
  • Same tiered interest rates as the High Rate Savings

Assiniboine Online Banking

If you’re looking for a purely digital banking experience, ACU has its own online bank, Outlook Financial. Outlook’s product offering is somewhat limited (they only offer savings accounts and GICs), but without the overhead of a brick and mortar financial institution, they are able to offer attractive interest rates that rival other digital banks. For more information, check out our full Outlook Financial Review.

Assiniboine Credit Cards

Assiniboine has partnered with Collabria on six different Visa credit cards for its members. Benefits include cashback and travel rewards, as well as a US Dollar Visa card for purchases in US currency.

  • ACU Visa Classic Card
  • ACU Cash Back Visa Card
  • ACU Centra Visa Gold Card
  • ACU Visa Infinite Card
  • ACU Travel Rewards Visa Gold Card
  • ACU US Dollar Visa Card

The ACU Visa Classic Card will appeal to anyone looking for a no-frills (and no fee) credit card. On the opposite end of the spectrum, the ACU Visa Infinite Card offers premium travel rewards and no fewer than 8 insurance benefits for $120 per year (the additional card is $50.)

Assiniboine Credit Union Lending Products

In addition to credit cards, Assiniboine offers a full range of lending products, including mortgages, personal loans, lines of credit, and overdraft protection. If you’re a small business owner requiring financing, business loans and lines of credit are also available.

Assiniboine Small Business Banking

Assiniboine offers seven different business chequing accounts, including an account for small, non-profit organizations, and a US Dollar business chequing account. Below is a list of the business chequing accounts and business savings options.

ACU Business Chequing Plans

  • ACU Community Builder
  • ACU Basic Business
  • ACU Business 25
  • ACU Business 75
  • ACU Business 125
  • ACU Business 200
  • ACU US Business Account

ACU Business Savings

  • Business Savings
  • Monthly High Rate Savings
  • Business High Rate Savings
  • Community High Rate Savings

Assiniboine Credit Union Investing

Whether you’re looking for a competitive GIC rate, mutual funds, or dedicated Wealth Management services, Assiniboine Credit Union has you covered. You can open the following investment account types:

  • Non-Registered
  • RRSP
  • TFSA
  • RESP
  • RDSP

Assiniboine Credit Union GICs

Assiniboine Credit Union Guaranteed Investment Certificates (GICs) are available at the following terms and interest rates (as of Dec. 8/21):

Terms Rates Minimum Deposit

Redeemable GIC 0.70% $1000

Short-Term Non-Redeemable GICs

Short Term (30-364 days) 0.25% to 0.65% $5000

Long-Term Non-Redeemable GICs (minimum deposit $1000)

1-Year 1.20%

2-Year 1.40%

3-Year 1.75%

4-Year 1.80%

5-Year 2.00%

U.S. GICS are available in terms of 30-364 days. Interest rates range from 0.10% to 0.35%, and the minimum deposit is $1000.

ACU Mutual Funds and Wealth Management

ACU members can choose from a wide variety of mutual fund products, including Socially Responsible Investment funds (SRI). If you’re seeking professional investment advice, their team of Credential wealth management advisors are there to help you reach your financial goals.

Assiniboine Credit Union offers self-directed investing through their partnership with QTrade, one of Canada’s leading discount brokerages.

Assiniboine Insurance

Assiniboine Credit Union offers the following types of insurance coverage through various channels, including online, telephone, or in-person.

  • Travel Insurance
  • Home Insurance
  • Life Insurance
  • Car Insurance (through Winnipeg Insurance Brokers, wholly-owned by ACU)

Assiniboine Pros and Cons

Assiniboine Credit Union has a lot to offer, but not everyone will be happy dealing with a credit union. Here is a list of pros and cons to help you decide if ACU is right for you:


  • Manitoba’s 2nd largest credit union (2nd only to Steinbach Credit Union)
  • Free banking for youth and seniors
  • Full range of personal and small business products and services
  • Better GIC interest rates than the big banks
  • Self-directed investing is available via QTrade


  • Savings interest lags digital bank leaders (EQ Bank/Oaken Financial)
  • Only 10 free e-Transfers on top-tier account
  • Limited ATM network vs. big banks

Final Thoughts on Assiniboine Credit Union

There you have it, our Assiniboine Credit Union review. If you prefer dealing with credit unions, there’s a lot to like about ACU. They offer a full range of personal and business products and services, including personal accounts, credit cards, business banking, personal loans and mortgages, and a full suite of investment and wealth management products. If you live in the Winnipeg area and are looking for a new place to bank, ACU is a credit union you should consider.

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