With banks doing away with free checking and tacking on more fees, you may be able to get more bang for your buck with a credit union.
Credit unions typically offer better deals on checking accounts, loans and other products compared with banks. And it's a lot easier these days to join one of the more than 7,000 credit unions out there.
But in some cases, you'll just get basic service. That may mean no online banking or any of the bells and whistles being offered by banks.
Credit unions are able to beat banks across the board because they're nonprofit and owned by members, so they have an incentive to offer the best deals possible, says Greg McBride, senior financial analyst at Bankrate.com.