The Difference Between Share and Savings Accounts
You are a member-owner with a share account.
Having a share account at a credit union is the same as having a savings account at a bank. The difference is you! As a credit union member you own a share of the institution.
What is a Share Account?
Share accounts with a credit union act very much the same as savings accounts at banks. Having a share account is the foundation for membership in a credit union, which is also defined as a coop. It represents your "share" of the credit union and every account holder is an owner. As such, and completely different from the structure of bank owners and shareholders, every member can vote on issues and help elect the board of directors. As a member you are treated equally with one vote, regardless of the amount of money you have in your account.
Share accounts earn dividends in the form of earned interest (much like a regular bank savings account, but typically with better interest rates) and an annual member bonus dividend, which reflects the growth and financial health of the credit union. After establishing a share account, you are then able to use other products and services such as share draft account, loans, certificates of deposit (CDs), and retirement accounts (IRAs).
Share Draft Accounts
Commonly called a checking account, a share draft account has all the benefits of a bank's checking account, but at Skyward, checking accounts are without the associated fees for minimum deposits, service fees or number of transactions. Additional benefits include overdraft protection, online banking and bill pay, mobile deposits and access to over 30,000 fee-free ATMs across the nation through the COOP system.
The NCUA Insures Your Deposits
Deposits for share accounts, as well as all other deposit accounts, are insured to $250,000 per individual, per institution and per ownership category (e.g., single and/or joint accounts) by NCUA, an independent federal agency. Credit unions are as safe as any bank that has FDIC insurance. But you are not just another depositor; you have the added advantage of being a member of the credit union family.