Steinbach Credit Union Review: An Inside Look at Manitoba’s Largest Credit Union
Approximately 60 kilometres southeast of Winnipeg, Manitoba, lies the City of Steinbach. While the community and surrounding area are known for agriculture, it’s also home to Manitoba’s largest credit union.
About Steinbach Credit Union
Steinbach Credit Union, or SCU, has more than $7 billion in assets and boasts more than 98,000 members. It operates out of 3 large branch locations; one in Steinbach, and two in Winnipeg. SCU offers a full range of day-to-day banking, savings, lending, and investment products. Let’s take a closer look at each category.
Steinbach Credit Union Chequing Accounts
SCU offers ten different chequing accounts, including two accounts for students, a U.S. chequing account, and an account for seniors. Chequing accounts are not typically meant to be interest-bearing, but SCU currently pays 0.05% on all but one chequing account. Here’s a brief rundown of each one:
Standard Pack Chequing
The Standard Pack Chequing account is a pay-as-you-go account with no monthly fee. You do get one free debit per $500 minimum balance (a unique feature). After that, most debit transactions (withdrawals) range between $.55 and $.65. Non-credit union ATM withdrawals are $1.50
Value Pack Chequing
For $8.95, the Value Pack service plan gives you 35 free monthly debits and 5 free Interac e-Transfers. The account is ideal for anyone who uses around debit 10 transactions per week.
Classic Pack Chequing
Classic Pack Chequing is SCU’s unlimited account. For $15.50 per month, you get unlimited debit transactions, 10 free Interac e-Transfers, and a $5 discount on an annual safety deposit box rental.
The E-Pack chequing is designed for members who conduct most of their transactions online. It’s a non-interest-bearing account, but it offers plenty of value. The monthly fee is only $5.00, but you get 15 free digital debit transactions (credit union ATM withdrawals, telephone bill payments, and pre-authorized debits. You also get 5 free Interac e-Transfers.
If you need to save money for a trip south of the border, a U.S. chequing account is the perfect place to store your U.S. cash. There is no monthly fee (pay-as-you-go), but you do get one free cheque or debit for every $1000 minimum account balance. Overlimit transactions are USD 0.90.
Spendwise Account (Youth)
Spendwise is a day-to-day account for members 18 years of age or younger. It’s a free account with unlimited monthly transactions. It also comes with free Interac e-Transfers. When you turn 19, the account transfers to a Standard Pack Chequing.
StudentFLEX Daily Account
For post-secondary students who use a moderate number of monthly transactions, the StudentFLEX Daily account offers free banking for up to 35 monthly transactions and unlimited Interac e-Transfers.
StudentFLEX Infinite Daily Account
Students who need access to unlimited banking can choose the StudentFLEX Infinite account, for $10/month. You get unlimited monthly debit transactions, including e-Transfers. When you’re no longer a student, the account is switched to a Standard Pack Chequing.
On Track Pack Chequing
If you’re between 19 and 24, you don’t have to be enrolled in full-time studies to benefit from affordable banking. For $5/month, the On Track Pack chequing gives you 35 free monthly transactions and unlimited e-Transfers.
Golden Chequing (Seniors)
Last, but certainly not least, is Steinbach Credit Union’s Golden Chequing account, designed for members 60 and over. In addition to being an unlimited, free account, you get one free order of personal cheques per year and a discount on a safety deposit box rental.
SCU Savings & GICs
More than anything, credit unions are known for their generous interest on savings accounts and GICs, and SCU is no different. Here is a brief overview of what’s available. Note that any interest rates posted are current at the time of writing, December 17th, 2021.
On balances under $100,000 SCU currently pays a healthy 1.00% interest on their Regular Savings account. The rate is tiered after that, reaching a maximum of 1.30% on balances over $250,000. You also get one free monthly withdrawal, and there is no minimum balance requirement (you earn interest on the first dollar you deposit.) The one “catch” to this account is that interest is calculated on the minimum monthly balance and paid annually.
Plan 24 Savings
Unlike Regular Savings, Plan 24 Savings calculates interest daily and pays monthly. That said, the rate is far lower, at 0.10%. There is no monthly fee, but the PLan 24 becomes a pay-as-you-go account after the one free monthly withdrawal.
The monthly savings calculates and pays interest every month. The rate is currently a respectable 0.30%. It’s a great way to earn on short-term funds.
Members who are 14 and under can earn an exceptional rate of interest on balances up to $2000. Currently, that rate is set at a whopping 3.10%, almost unheard of amongst Canadian financial institutions. Above $2000, the interest defaults to the tiered limits.
If you’re looking for the best possible interest while keeping your principal secure, consider an SCU guaranteed investment certificate, or GIC. GICs are available in terms from 1 to 5 years, and depending on the product can be cashable or locked-in. Currently, GIC rates range between 1.25% and 2.20%.
SCU Credit Cards
SCU has a similar product offering to Winnipeg-based Assiniboine Credit Union when it comes to credit cards. Like Assiniboine, SCU has partnered with Collabria to provide the following six credit cards:
- SCU Cashback Mastercard
- SCU Centra Visa Gold Card
- SCU Classic Mastercard
- SCU Travel Rewards Gold Mastercard
- SCU U.S. Dollar Mastercard
- SCU World Mastercard
Highlights include the SCU Classic Mastercard, which offers a low standard interest rate of 12.99%, Purchase Protection & Extended Warranty, with no annual fee. On the top end, the SCU World Mastercard offers bonus rewards points on grocery, dining, and entertainment spending, and several travel-related insurance coverages for a $120 annual fee.
Steinbach Credit Union Lending Products
Whether you need a personal mortgage, car loan, or a line of credit, SCU has you covered. They offer a full range of personal lending products. As with any financial institution, they’ll review your entire financial picture, including your credit score, income and employment stability, and your overall net worth when making a credit approval decision. In general, however, credit unions tend to be more flexible than big banks when it comes to borrowing money.
Steinbach Credit Union Small Business Banking
SCU caters to business and agricultural clients alike, with a full range of products, including business chequing and savings, credit cards, and financing for any type of venture.
Steinbach Credit Union Investments
You can invest in the following registrations with SCU: non-registered, TFSA, RRSP, RRIF, RESP, RDSP, and more. If GICs aren’t your thing, SCU offers mutual funds through their wealth management channel. DIY investors can open an online brokerage account through SCUs partnership with QTrade Direct Investing and Virtual Wealth.
Steinbach Credit Union Online Banking
SCU offers telephone, internet, and mobile banking for those on the go. Their mobile app is available for download on both iOS and Android devices. The app also lets you use Apple Pay, Android Pay, or Google Pay whenever Interac Flash or Tap technology is available.
Steinbach Credit Union Pros and Cons
SCU has enough financial products and services to suit the needs of most Manitobans. Here’s a list of pros and cons:
- Attractive rates on savings and GICs
- Highly customized day-to-day service plans
- Free ATMs across Canada (credit union ATM network)
- Specialized services for business & agricultural members
- Watch the fine print with how savings rates are calculated
- Only 3 physical locations
Steinbach Credit Union Review: Final Thoughts
Steinbach Credit Union’s highly customized chequing and savings accounts are a highlight. On the downside, the options for online investing fall well below what you get with the big banks, and even some other credit unions. If you live in southeastern Manitoba and are looking for a new place to bank, SCU is definitely worth considering