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Best small bank and credit union credit cards of June 2024

Cash back, bonuses and the personal attention and customer service you might not get from large banks. CardRatings editors compare the best small bank and credit union credit cards. View More

There’s no shortage of big banks out there that hire celebrities to sing the praises of flashy credit cards loaded with perks and features. But what if you prefer banks that are smaller, more personal and less flashy (but still offer cards loaded with perks and features)? In that case, it’s time to look at credit unions and smaller regional banks when you start researching your next credit card.

Here’s the thing: These cards from credit unions and small banks don’t get the same press or buzz that cards from larger issuers do but, in many cases, they offer rewards and perks that are similar or even better. Plus, you get the benefit of more personalized customer service, easier access and, if this is your thing, the knowledge that you’re supporting a small organization rather than a Main Street giant. View Less

author Curtis Arnold
Terms apply; see the online credit card application for full terms and conditions of offers and rewards.

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At CardRatings.com we discuss the most up-to-date news and trends within the credit card space. Since we first pioneered the concept of online credit card reviews in 1998, our team of financial experts has provided comprehensive and unbiased credit card reviews for more than 175 cards, plus hundreds of additional resource articles to help educate everyday cardholders so they can feel more confident about their card choices. All our content is written and reviewed by industry experts. Though our content may occasionally contain references to products from our partners, we maintain strict editorial integrity and advertiser relationships and compensation never influences ratings, reviews or featured products. The difference between editorial content and advertising must always be clearly stated. Learn more.

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Alliant Cashback Visa® Signature Credit Card (This card is not currently available on CardRatings)

 
Why We Like It: You can become an Alliant Credit Union Foundation digital inclusion advocate and become eligible for Alliant Credit Union membership. The Foundation's mission is to provide reliable digital access resources to underserved communities including rural and digitally-challenged populations. The foundation awards grants for educational and digital inclusion efforts nationwide. Alliant Credit Union will make a one-time $5 contribution to the foundation on your behalf.
Welcome Bonus
N/A
Annual Fee
No Annual Fee
Regular APR
Rates as low as 17.49% APR

The bonus: N/A.

The Annual Fee: No annual fee

The Rewards: Earn up to 2.5% cash back on your first $10,000 of qualifying eligible purchases (1.5% for purchases over $10,000).

PROS:

  • This card features both no annual fees or foreign transaction fees.
  • Earn unlimited cash back with no categories to track.
  • Works with Google Pay™, Apple Pay™ and Samsung Pay™.

CONS:

  • This isn’t necessarily a con, but something to be aware of: like with any credit union card, you must first join the credit union in order to be eligible to apply.

We have not polled this card yet, but would love to hear your thoughts on it if you are a cardholder. Comment below or email us at editor@cardratings.com to share more about your experience.

card_name discontinued_disclaimer 

editor_rating
 
foreign_transaction_fee annual_fees
Why We Like It: PenFed has had a great reputation among cardholders for many years. Given the economic challenges currently facing consumers, it’s hard to beat cash rebates. The old saying "cash is king” certainly rings true with this card, which offers a flat 1.5% back (no tiers) on all purchases. However, if you become an Honors Advantage member by opening a qualifying free checking account or military service, you'll up that earning 2%. Finally, the APR with this card is attractive compared to other cash-back cards, capped at RegAPR.

Read our full CardName review.

Welcome Bonus
$100 statement credit Earn a $100 statement credit when you spend $1,500 in the first 90 days
Annual Fee
AnnualFees
Regular APR
RegAPR
Credit Score
CreditScoreNeeded

Bonus: Earn $100 bonus statement credit when you spend $1,500 in the first 90 days.

Annual Fee: AnnualFees

Rewards Rate: Earn an easy-to-understand 1.5% cash back on all your purchases. You can up that to 2% on all your purchases by becoming a PenFed Honors Advantage member. You automatically qualify for that status if the primary applicant is active duty military, reserve, honorably discharged or retired. Otherwise, you can open a checking account and maintain a minimum $500 daily balance or establish monthly direct deposits of $500 or more.

Credit Needed: CreditScoreNeeded

PROS:

  • No annual fees or foreign transaction fees.
  • Earn as much as 2% cash back on all your purchases (subject to becoming a PenFed Honors Advantage member).
  • Among the various military-focused credit unions out there, Pentagon Federal Credit Union is among the simplest for everyone to join.

CONS:

  • To qualify for the full 2% rewards rate, you'll need to open a checking account and meet balance or requirements.
Current Scores Past Scores
Overall Score n/a 84.8
Rewards Program Satisfaction n/a 8.6
Customer Service n/a 8.7
Website/App Usability n/a 8.6
Likelihood of Continuing to Use n/a 8.3
Recommend to a Friend/Colleague n/a 8.2

*Scores above reflect the results of surveys with actual cardholders. Full methodology below.

card_name discontinued_disclaimer 

editor_rating
 
foreign_transaction_fee annual_fees
Why We Like It: New cardholders can earn a nice bonus when applying for the card, and on an ongoing basis, earn unlimited 2% cash back on all eligible purchases.

Read our full card_name review.

Welcome Bonus
$150 statement credit Earn a $150 statement credit after spending $1,000 in the first 90 days
Annual Fee
AnnualFees
Regular APR
RegAPR
Credit Score
CreditScoreNeeded

The Bonus: Earn $150 cash back in the form of a statement credit when you spend $1,000 within the first 90 days after account opening

The Annual Fee: AnnualFees

The Rewards: Earn unlimited 2% cash back on all eligible purchases.

Credit Needed: CreditScoreNeeded

PROS:

  • Earn unlimited cash rewards – no rotating categories, no caps or limits on how much you can earn on an annual basis.
  • With no annual fee and up to 2% cash back on your purchases, this value prop for this card is quite high.
  • Intro 0% APR on balance transfers for 15 billing cycles after account opening (then, RegAPR). Balance transfer fee applies: BalanceTransferFees.

CONS:

  • This card charges foreign transaction fees.

We have not polled this card yet, but would love to hear your thoughts on it if you are a cardholder. Comment below or email us at editor@cardratings.com to share more about your experience.

PNC Cash Unlimited℠ Visa Signature® Credit Card (This card is not currently available on CardRatings)

 
Why We Like It: This card has no annual fee, earns unlimited 2% cash back on every purchase, and there’s no cap on how much you can earn.
Welcome Bonus
0% intro APR Enjoy 0% intro APR on purchases for the first 12 billing cycles following account opening. After that, the rate will be your standard purchase APR, currently 19.24%-30.24%.
Annual Fee
$0
Regular APR
19.24%-30.24%

The bonus: Enjoy 0% intro APR on purchases for the first 12 billing cycles following account opening. After that, the rate will be your standard purchase APR, currently 19.24%-30.24%. Cardholders can also enjoy 0% intro APR on qualifying balance transfers for the first 12 billing cycles following account opening when the balance is transferred within the first 90 days following account opening. After that, the rate will be your standard purchase APR, currently 19.24%-30.24%.

The Annual Fee: $0

The Rewards: Earn unlimited 2% cash back on every purchase.

PROS:

  • There are no quarterly activations or purchase categories to track, and there’s no cap on the amount of rewards you can earn.
  • Feel free to take this card abroad with you as it does not charge fees on foreign transactions.

CONS:

  • You can apply from any state, however, you must first apply for PNC’s virtual checking account (no annual fee) before you can apply for the credit card.
  • Cardholder must qualify for a minimum credit line of $5,000 in order to be approved.

We have not polled this card yet, but would love to hear your thoughts on it if you are a cardholder. Comment below or email us at editor@cardratings.com to share more about your experience.

card_name discontinued_disclaimer 

editor_rating
 
foreign_transaction_fee annual_fees
Why We Like It: With gas prices creeping higher again, this card can really help slash your gas bill by offering 5X points on gas paid at the pump. Plus, if electric vehicles are more your thing, you'll like the 5x points offered at EV charging stations. The 5X earn rate is aggressive in the best way. In addition, you will also earn 3X points at the supermarket (including most Target and Walmart locations, which are often excluded in grocery rewards categories); restaurants; and on TV, radio, cable and streaming services. Also, the APR for this card is competitive, capped at RegAPR.

Read our full CardName review.

Welcome Bonus
15,000 points Earn 15,000 points when you spend $1,500 in the first 90 days.
Annual Fee
AnnualFees
Regular APR
RegAPR
Credit Score
CreditScoreNeeded

The Bonus: Earn 15,000 bonus points when you spend $1,500 in the first 90 days of account opening.

The Annual Fee: AnnualFees

The Rewards: Earn 5X miles on gas paid at the pump and at EV charging stations; 3x points at supermarkets (including most Target and Walmart locations); restaurants; and on tv, radio, cable and streaming services; 1x point per $1 spent on other purchases.

Credit Needed: CreditScoreNeeded

PROS:

  • No foreign transaction fees means, you won’t be charged extra fees when you use your card outside of the U.S. or to make purchases in a foreign currency.
  • There are several redemption options when you get ready to cash your points in, including over 300 gift card brands to choose from.
  • Take advantage of an intro 0% APR for 12 months on balance transfers made in the first 90 days of account opening. After the intro period, the APR becomes a non-variable RegAPR. A BalanceTransferFees.

CONS:

  • While there are lots of redemption options, cash and statement credit aren't among them. There is no option to redeem your points for cash.
  • The base rewards earning of 1 point per $1 isn't great, so make sure you can truly maximize the other earning tiers.
Current Scores Past Scores
Overall Score n/a 75.3
Rewards Program Satisfaction n/a 7.5
Customer Service n/a 7.7
Website/App Usability n/a 7.2
Likelihood of Continuing to Use n/a 7.8
Recommend to a Friend/Colleague n/a 7.5

*Scores above reflect the results of surveys with actual cardholders. Full methodology below.

Arvest Flex Rewards™ Visa Signature® (This card is not currently available on CardRatings)

 
Why We Like It: Earn 1.5x Arvest Flex Rewards points (flat rate, no tiers) for every $1 spent and redeem those points for cash back, statement credits, travel, gift cards, event tickets and more. Plus, this card offers some unusual additional perks of note.
Rewards
1.5 points/$1
Annual Fee
$0
Regular APR
18.49% - 24.99% Variable
Credit Score
Good/Excellent

The Bonus: New cardholders can enjoy 0% APR on purchases and balance transfers for the first 12 months. After that, an APR of 18.49% - 24.99% Variable applies.

The Annual Fee: $0

The Rewards: Earn 1.5 points per $1 spent on all your purchases, redeemable for cash back, statement credit, travel, gift cards and more.

Credit Needed: Good/Excellent

PROS:

  • Cardholders enjoy up to $100 credit for a Global Entry or TSA PreCheck application fee, a highly unusual benefit for a no-annual-fee card.
  • Sticking with the travel theme, this card doesn't charge foreign transaction fees.
  • Luxury travel and extras such as 24/7 complimentary concierge services to help with reservations, ordering gifts, etc.

CONS:

  • Earning 1.5 points per $1 isn't bad, but it's not great. There are higher earning rewards cards out there, espcially if you're primarily interested in travel rewards.

We have not polled this card yet, but would love to hear your thoughts on it if you are a cardholder. Comment below or email us at editor@cardratings.com to share more about your experience.

card_name discontinued_disclaimer 

editor_rating
 
foreign_transaction_fee annual_fees
Why We Like It: This offer packs a powerful punch. For starters, you’ll get 50K bonus points when you spend $3K in the first 90 days. Plus, earn 4x points on all travel purchases if you are a PenFed Honors Advantage member (non-members earn 3X points) and 1.5x points on all other purchases

Read our full CardName review.

Welcome Bonus
50,000 points Earn 50,000 points after you spend $3,000 in the first 90 days
Annual Fee
AnnualFees
Regular APR
RegAPR
Credit Score
CreditScoreNeeded

The Bonus: Earn 50,000 bonus points when you spend $3,000 in the first 90 days of account opening.

The Annual Fee: AnnualFees

The Rewards: PenFed Honors Advantage members earn 4X points on travel, while non-members earn 3x points on those purchases. All cardholders earn 1.5x points on all other purchases.

Credit Needed: CreditScoreNeeded

PROS:

  • The annual fee is waived for existing PenFed Honors Advantage members.
  • Enjoy access to airport lounges worldwide with a complimentary Priority Pass Select memberhsip.
  • Save with a $100 annual domestic air travel reimbursement as well as up to $100 for your Global Entry or TSA PreCheck application fee.

CONS:

  • To qualify to be an Honors Advantage member, you must either have and maintain a PenFed checking account or the primary applicant must have military ties (active duty, reserve, honorably discharged or retired).

We have not polled this card yet, but would love to hear your thoughts on it if you are a cardholder. Comment below or email us at editor@cardratings.com to share more about your experience.

card_name discontinued_disclaimer 

editor_rating
 
foreign_transaction_fee annual_fees
Why We Like It: Enjoy 0% intro APR on balance transfers for the first 18 billing cycles after account opening, then RegAPR
Intro BT Offer
0% for 18 billing cycles 0% intro APR on balance transfers for the first 18 billing cycles after account opening, then RegAPR
Regular APR
RegAPR
Annual Fee
AnnualFees
Credit Score
CreditScoreNeeded

Balance Transfer Details: Enjoy 0% intro APR on balance transfers for the first 18 billing cycles after account opening, then RegAPR

The Annual Fee: AnnualFees

The Rewards: Though this isn't a rewards card, it does offer the "reward" of a possible low rate and solid intro balance transfer opportunity.

Credit Needed: CreditScoreNeeded

PROS:

  • Get built-in flexibility with the TD FlexPay Credit Card
  • Get Visa benefits like cell phone protection when you pay your monthly mobile bill with your card.

CONS:

  • There is a balance transfer fee associated with this card. BalanceTransferFees

We have not polled this card yet, but would love to hear your thoughts on it if you are a cardholder. Comment below or email us at editor@cardratings.com to share more about your experience.

TD First Class SM Visa Signature® Credit Card (This card is not currently available on CardRatings)

 
Why We Like It: Earn 25,000 bonus miles when you spend $3,000 within the first six billing cycles, plus earn bonus miles on travel and dining purchases.
Welcome Bonus
Earn 25,000 bonus miles when you spend $3,000 within the first six billing cycles.
Annual Fee
$89 (waived the first year)
Regular APR
18.49% variable APR

The bonus: Earn 25,000 bonus miles when you spend $3,000 within the first six billing cycles.

The Annual Fee: $89 (waived the first year)

The Rewards: Earn 3X First Class miles on travel and dining purchases. Earn 1X First Class miles on all other purchases.

PROS:

  • The welcome bonus of 25,000 bonus miles equals a $250 statement credit towards travel or dining purchases.
  • There is an annual fee to consider, but it’s waived the first year.

CONS:

  • After the first year, there’s an annual fee to consider.

We have not polled this card yet, but would love to hear your thoughts on it if you are a cardholder. Comment below or email us at editor@cardratings.com to share more about your experience.

Arvest True Rate™ Credit Card (This card is not currently available on CardRatings)

 
Why We Like It: This card features a competitively low APR with an even lower introductory APR for 12 months on balance transfers and new purchases.
Welcome Bonus
N/A
Annual Fee
No Annual Fee
Regular APR
4.49% - 23.49% based on your creditworthiness

The bonus: There is no traditional welcome bonus but the card does offer introductory 0% APR which is a welcome bonus of sorts. Enjoy 0% introductory APR for 12 billing cycles from the date of account opening on purchases and balance transfers. After that, your APR will be 14.49% - 23.49% based on your creditworthiness.

The Annual Fee: No annual fee

The Rewards Rate: N/A

PROS:

  • Enjoy 0% introductory APR for 12 billing cycles from the date of account opening on purchases and balance transfers. After that, your APR will be 14.49% - 23.49% based on your creditworthiness.
  • Visa's Global Emergency Assistance Services, including emergency card replacement and emergency cash disbursement.

CONS:

  • This isn’t a rewards card so you won’t earn rewards on purchases made with the card.

We have not polled this card yet, but would love to hear your thoughts on it if you are a cardholder. Comment below or email us at editor@cardratings.com to share more about your experience.

Navy Federal Platinum Credit Card (This card is not currently available on CardRatings)

 
Why We Like It: It’s really hard to find low rate cards (that aren’t teaser rates) with all the rate increases in the past year, but Navy Federal is going against the flow with this card, which features an the opportunity for an impressively low ongoing rate depending on your creditworthiness.
Regular APR
11.24% - 18.00% Variable
Intro BT Offer
0.99% for 12 months 0.99% intro APR for 12 months on balance transfers made in the first 60 days ( 11.24% - 18.00% Variable after the intro period)
Annual Fee
None
Credit Score
Good/Excellent

Ongoing APR: 11.24% - 18.00% Variable. This, even at the high end, is still quite a low APR. If your creditworthiness qualifies you for the low end of the APR, you'll be in especially good shape.

The Annual Fee: None

The Rewards: There aren't rewards offered with this card, but the low ongoing rate could be all you really need.

Credit Needed: Good/Excellent

PROS:

  • Take advantage of an intro 0.99% APR for 12 months from account opening on balance transfers made within your first 60 days. After the intro, the APR becomes 11.24% - 18.00% Variable.
  • In addition to a solid intro balance transfer offer, you'll save more because this card doesn't charge balance transfer fees.
  • Existing Navy Federal Credit Union members can check whether the qualify for the card without a hard credit pull and no impact on your credit.

CONS:

  • The balance transfer offer is good – and the no transfer fee is great – but there are cards out there with longer intro periods.
  • This isn't a rewards card, so it's not a top recommendation for your everyday card.

We have not polled this card yet, but would love to hear your thoughts on it if you are a cardholder. Comment below or email us at editor@cardratings.com to share more about your experience.

Aven Card (This card is not currently available on CardRatings)

 
Why We Like It: This new, unique new offer from Coastal Community Bank features an eye-popping rate in the single digits depending on your credit. However, even if you don’t qualify for that super-low rate, the highest rate you will get is still well below the national average.

Read our full Aven Card review.

Regular APR
7.99%-15.49% Variable
Rewards
2% cash back
Annual Fee
$0
Credit Score
Good/Excellent

Ongoing APR: 7.99%-15.49% Variable. This range is exceptionally low, even if your credit lands you at the upper end of the range.

The Annual Fee: $0

The Rewards: Earn unlimited 2% cash back. It accumulates as reward points that you can redeem for statement credit.

Credit Needed: Good/Excellent

PROS:

  • Rewards cards typically come with higher-than-average APRs, but this card offers both rewards AND a low ongoing APR.
  • Your home's equity is used to secure your credit line, so credit lines for this card can go up to $250,000, much more than a typical credit card.
  • You can check your offer – as in what kind of credit line you'd qualify for based on your home's equity and more – without a hard credit pull.

CONS:

  • Because your home's equity is part of the approval equation, you need to own and have equity in your home to qualify.
  • Your home’s equity is used to secure the credit line, which means that if you fail behind on payments, you could possibly risk losing your house.

We have not polled this card yet, but would love to hear your thoughts on it if you are a cardholder. Comment below or email us at editor@cardratings.com to share more about your experience.

Simmons Bank Foundation Visa® (This card is not currently available on CardRatings)

 
Why We Like It: Simmons has historically catered to applicants with excellent credit, so we are delighted to see them offer a no-annual-fee secured card for people who are trying to establish or rebuild their credit. There are few secured cards that don’t have an annual fee, so kudos to Simmons for raising the bar.
Welcome Bonus
N/A
Annual Fee
$0
Regular APR
28.24%
Credit Score
Poor/Limited

Security Deposit: Minimum $300 refundable deposit required to establish your line of credit. The maximum credit limit is $5,000 (with associated security deposit).

The Annual Fee: $0

The Rewards: There aren't rewards offered, but there are some nice extra benefits – such as car rental coverage and travel coverage – that aren't always included on secured cards.

Credit Needed: Poor/Limited

PROS:

  • Credit lines from $300 minimum to $5,000 maximum (your credit line will be the same as your security deposit).
  • Your security deposit will be held in an interest-bearing Foundation Secured Savings Account so you'll earn some money on your deposit.
  • Get up to $1 million in travel accident insurance at no additional cost.

CONS:

  • This isn't a card on which you want to carry a balance. The APR is high at 28.24%.

We have not polled this card yet, but would love to hear your thoughts on it if you are a cardholder. Comment below or email us at editor@cardratings.com to share more about your experience.

First Tech Platinum Secured Mastercard (This card is not currently available on CardRatings)

 
Why We Like It: This card offers rates from 14.25% to 18% APR, which is competitive. Plus, there’s no annual fee and no foreign transaction fee, plus rewards earned on purchases.
Welcome Bonus
N/A
Annual Fee
$0
Regular APR
14.25% - 18%
Credit Score
Poor/Limited

The Rewards: Earn 1X point for every dollar spent on everyday purchases. User your points for travel, merchandise, gift cards and more.

The Annual Fee: $0

Credit Needed: Poor/Limited

PROS:

  • Enjoy no annual fees.
  • The ongoing APR is competitive.

CONS:

  • As a credit union card, membership is required before you’re eligible to apply for this card.

We have not polled this card yet, but would love to hear your thoughts on it if you are a cardholder. Comment below or email us at editor@cardratings.com to share more about your experience.

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author
Curtis Arnold
CardRatings Founder

Curtis founded Cardratings.com in 1998 and, in so doing, helped pioneer the concept of rating credit cards. He has been a nationally recognized expert in consumer credit for well over 20 years. He is the author of “How You Can Profit from Credit Cards: Using Credit to Improve Your Financial Life and Bottom Line” and co-founder of BestPrepaidDebitCards.com....Read more


Survey Methodology: CardRatings commissioned Op4G in September 2023 to conduct surveys among 1,869 cardholders nationwide. CardRatings website analytics from Jan. 1, 2023-Aug. 31, 2023 were used to determine a selection of the most popular cards and additional cards were included to add survey breadth. Responses to each of nine questions were given on a scale of 1-10 and respondents’ scores were then averaged under broad topics. To determine the overall score, responses from questions 1-8 were summed and the answer to “How likely are you to recommend this card to a friend, coworker or family member?” was double weighted. “Current Scores” reflect scores from the most recent survey (2023); “Past Scores” reflect scores from the 2022 survey.

Ranking Methodology: CardRatings experts review the fine print, details, perks, rewards and features of hundreds of cards and compare them side-by-side with similar cards. A card that makes an excellent balance transfer card may not make a great cash-back rewards card even though it offers those rewards. While the Best of the Year list is announced annually, that list – and all other “best of” lists on CardRatings – are regularly reviewed and updated as issuers change the terms and features of each card often.

Disclaimer:

The information in this article is believed to be accurate as of the date it was written. Please keep in mind that credit card offers change frequently. Therefore, we cannot guarantee the accuracy of the information in this article. Reasonable efforts are made to maintain accurate information. See the online credit card application for full terms and conditions on offers and rewards. Please verify all terms and conditions of any credit card prior to applying.

This content is not provided by any company mentioned in this article. Any opinions, analyses, reviews or recommendations expressed here are those of the author’s alone, and have not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by any such company. CardRatings.com does not review every company or every offer available on the market.