How to Avoid Credit Union Service Fees

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Credit unions are renowned for offering an array of benefits over traditional banks, one of the most notable being lower fees. Unlike banks, credit unions operate as not-for-profit entities, owned by their members. This fundamental difference in structure means that credit unions prioritize serving their members' interests rather than maximizing profits. This translates to lower fees for services and potentially higher earnings on deposits for members. In contrast, banks often have higher fee structures designed to generate revenue. Understanding this distinction illuminates why credit unions are often preferred over banks.

Regardless of your choice of financial institution (FI), it's important to understand the services they provide and any associated fees. But what types of service fees should you be aware of, and are there ways to steer clear of them? The secret lies in understanding the essential services your FI provides and recognizing how to best leverage them to your advantage. Start by familiarizing yourself with the various fees your bank or credit union may charge, including account maintenance fees, transaction fees for some financial products, or loan fees. Then, explore options to waive or reduce these fees, such as maintaining minimum balance requirements, opting for e-Statements over paper statements, or qualifying for fee exemptions through loyalty programs. By staying well-informed and taking proactive steps, you can steer clear of unnecessary fees, potentially saving a significant amount of money over time.

Let's take a look at some of the typical services provided, uncovering the potential charges that may arise when utilizing these services, along with practical strategies on how to mitigate them. From checking account fees and ATM withdrawals, we'll dissect further and offer practical approaches for minimizing their impact on your finances. By the end, you'll be equipped with the knowledge and tools to confidently manage your personal finances, ensuring that you make the most of your FI's offerings while cutting down on those pesky fees. 

Which Fees Can Be Avoided?

  • Monthly Maintenance Fees: Maintaining checking accounts or savings accounts can be expensive. Fortunately, there are ways to waive or reduce the fee for this service, and you may even qualify to get a free checking (or savings account) by meeting specific requirements. For instance, signing up for direct deposit, maintaining a minimum daily balance in the account, or meeting the criteria for loyalty programs during the statement period. 
  • Overdraft Protection: This service helps protect you from the inconvenience of declined transactions by covering purchases that exceed your available balance. There is usually a fee associated with utilizing this service, but you can avoid it by opting out of overdraft protection. However, opting out may lead to a non-sufficient funds fee. On the flip side, some institutions offer alternative options like overdraft protection transfer plans, such as a balance transfer from your savings, which could be a more cost-effective solution compared to standard overdraft practices.

  • Courtesy Pay: This service is available at some institutions and comes with a fee for each transaction that results in an overdraft of your available balance. The easiest way to avoid this fee is to monitor your balance regularly. Many financial institutions offer tools to assist you in setting up balance alerts by enabling customizable alerts through Online Banking, which will promptly notify you when you reach a specific threshold.

  • NSF Fee (Nonsufficient Funds Fee): When there is not enough money in the account and items are returned unpaid, you may incur a fee for this occurrence. This is different from an overdraft fee as the transaction is not processed. Stay on top of monitoring your account balance and set up alerts to avoid overdrawing your account.

  • Low Balance: This is a service charge applied by some institutions when your account balance falls below a certain amount. However, it can be avoided by maintaining the required minimum balance. This can apply to checking, savings, or money market accounts. 

  • Out-of-Network ATM: Be sure to utilize in-network ATMs to avoid transaction fees from your financial institution and potentially an additional surcharge from the ATM operator. For credit union members, feel free to call (888) SITE-COOP (748-3667) or visit this page to find more than 30,000 fee-free CO-OP ATM locations near you. 

  • Wire Transfers: Wire transfers offer a convenient way to send money, but it often comes with a cost. Some financial institutions may provide options to waive this fee or present alternative methods for transferring funds without incurring charges.
  • Credit Card Annual Fees: Some credit cards come with annual fees. Look for cards that offer no annual fee, like the Logix Platinum, Platinum Rewards, and Savings Secured credit cards to ensure the benefits outweigh the cost.


Credit unions go beyond simply offering lower fees. They empower you to manage your finances effectively. By leveraging the services you need strategically, members can navigate the financial landscape with confidence and keep more money where it matters—in their pocket. Whether you are an account holder at a bank or a member of your favorite credit union, be sure to prioritize budgeting, and leverage digital banking resources like mobile apps and financial calculators to stay on top of your finances. Furthermore, remember to take advantage of the perks that come with your account or membership to potentially reduce fees and access discounts on loans, ultimately amplifying the overall benefits you receive.

For a complete list of our fees and services, please visit our Schedule of Service Charges and Fees. 


Please contact Logix at (800) 328-5328 or visit if you have any questions about this topic or would like to consider opening an account. 

Meet the blogger

Maria Espinosa

Maria Espinosa

Maria is a dynamic marketing professional with a zest for all things creative and captivating. Graduating with honors at the top of her class, she is a seasoned marketer by day, with a knack for crafting compelling content that captures the minds of others. When she’s not typing away at her keyboard, Maria is a self-professed nature enthusiast, an art lover, and an advocate for creating meaningful connections with others. Join her on a journey through the digital landscape as she explores new ways to achieve financial wellness.