Affinity Credit Union Review

Affinity Credit Union is the second-largest credit union in Saskatchewan and a top 10 credit union in Canada based on its assets and membership size.

This review of Affinity Credit Union covers the wide-ranging banking, investment and lending services they provide to their members.

Who is Affinity Credit Union?

Affinity Credit Union is Saskatchewan’s second-largest credit union after Conexus Credit Union. Other popular credit unions in the province are Innovation Credit Union and Synergy Credit Union Limited.

They have over 120,000 members and more than $5.6 billion in assets under management. The credit union operates 56 branches across Saskatchewan.

Affinity is a member of the Global Alliance for Banking on Values and is one of only three Canadian credit unions who are members. The two other members are Assiniboine Credit Union (Manitoba) and Vancity Credit Union (British Columbia).

Members of the credit union can access 1,800+ surcharge-free ATMs across Canada via the Ding-Free ATM network.

Affinity Credit Union

Related: Tangerine vs. EQ Bank – Best Online Banks in Canada

Affinity Credit Union Accounts: Personal Banking

They offer a complete suite of financial products and services ranging from chequing accounts to mortgages and investments for individuals, businesses and non-profits. 

Affinity Credit Union Chequing Accounts

1. Unlimited Chequing: $12 per month, unlimited transactions including free Interac e-Transfer, and you can save 25% to 75% on the monthly account fee with 3-4 qualifying product lines.

2. Pay As You Go Chequing: No monthly account fee and pay per transaction.

3. Value Chequing: $4 per month and 12 free transactions per month.

4. Youth Chequing: No fees for individuals aged 20 and under. Unlimited transactions and free Interac e-Transfers.

5. Student Chequing: Free unlimited transactions for post-secondary students.

6. 65+ Chequing Account: Free unlimited transactions, no monthly fees, free Interac e-Transfers, 100 free cheques per year, and no fees for staff-assisted bill payments.

7. U.S. Chequing: Pay as you go at a rate of $1 per electronic debit and processed cheque or staff-assisted debit; $1.25 per staff-assisted utility payment. Earn up to 0.05%*.

General Chequing Account Fees

  • $2 for withdrawals from non-ding free ATMs in Canada.
  • $5 for ATM withdrawals outside Canada.
  • $1.25 per staff-assisted bill payments.
  • $1 per Interac e-Transfer transactions for Value and Pay-as-you-go chequing packages

Affinity Credit Union Savings Accounts

1. Everyday Savings: No monthly fee, 2 free transactions/month (and 1 each after), earn interest up to 0.10%*, and pay $1 per Interac e-Transfer.

2. Investor Savings: No monthly fee, 1 free transaction per month and $5 each after. Earn up to 0.25% and pay $1 per Interac e-Transfer.

*Interest rates are current as of September 9 2020.

Investing

You can use Guaranteed Investment Certificates (GICs) and mutual funds inside an RRSP, TFSA, RESP and RDSP. Members can choose to invest their portfolios using the low-cost platforms provided by Qtrade Investor and VitualWealth, a robo-advisor.

In addition to the traditional mutual funds offered through Credential Asset Management Inc., members also have access to Labour Sponsored Funds like the Golden Opportunities Fund and SaskWorks Venture Fund.

Borrowing

They offer mortgages, loans, lines of credit and credit cards. Their credit cards include:

1. Student Mastercard: No fee, 11.90% interest rate, purchase protection and extended warranty.

2. World Mastercard: $150 annual fee, earn 2 points per $1 spent (2% reward rate), purchase protection and extended warranty, extensive travel insurance package, car rental collision insurance, 19.90% interest rate.

3. Centra Gold Mastercard: $50 annual fee, 9.90% interest rate, earn 1 point per $1 spent (1% cash back), purchase protection and extended warranty, car rental collision/loss insurance and accident protection.

4. Travel Rewards Gold Mastercard: $110 annual fee, earn 1 point per $1 spent, purchase protection and extended warranty, comprehensive travel insurance package, car rental collision/loss insurance and 19.90% interest rate.

5. Flex Mastercard: $40 annual fee, variable interest rate (as low as 9.90%), purchase protection and extended warranty, mobile device insurance, and earn 1 point per $1 spent.

6. Cash Back Mastercard: No fee, 19.90% interest rate, earn 1 point per $1 spent, purchase protection and extended warranty, and mobile device insurance.

7. Classic Mastercard: $30 annual fee, 11.90% interest rate, mobile device insurance, purchase protection and extended warranty.

8. U.S. Dollar Mastercard: $65 USD fee, 19.90% interest rate, earn 1 point per $1 USD spent, travel insurance package, auto rental collision/loss insurance, purchase protection and extended warranty.

Related: Best Credit Cards in Canada

Affinity Credit Union Accounts: Business Banking

Chequing Accounts

  • Business Basic Chequing: $6 per month and 6 transactions.
  • Business Enhanced Chequing: $50 per month and 35 transactions.
  • Business Select Chequing: $60 per month and unlimited transactions.
  • Business U.S. Chequing: $6 per month and 6 transactions.

General Chequing Fees

  • $1 for Interac e-Transfers.
  • $2 per withdrawal at non-ding free ATMs in Canada.
  • $5 per withdrawal at ATMs outside Canada.
  • $1.25 per staff-assisted bill payment.

Savings Accounts

  • Business Savings: No monthly fee, 1 free transaction/month and $5 each after.
  • AgriInvest Account

Borrowing

They offer loans, mortgages, revolving credit, leasing, other financing options, and credit cards. Their business credit cards include:

1. Low Rate Business Mastercard: $25 annual fee, 12.90% interest rate, purchase protection and extended warranty.

2. No Fee Cash Back Business Mastercard: No fee, 19.90% interest rate, earn 1 point per $1 spent, purchase protection and extended warranty.

3. Platinum Business Mastercard: $120 annual fee, 19.90% interest rate, earn 2 points per $1 spent (2% reward rate), travel benefits, car rental collision/loss insurance, purchase protection and extended warranty.

Related: Best Business Credit Cards in Canada

How To Open an Affinity Credit Union Account

Members have various options for conducting their banking.

Online: Via their website or the Affinity Credit Union Mobile App which supports cheque deposits, Touch ID and/or Face ID login (available on iPhone and Android devices).

In-Branch at one of their 56 branches.

Phone: Either phone the specific branch or for general inquiries, call 1-866-863-5237. Telephone support is available Monday to Friday (7am to 8pm), Saturday (9am to 5pm) and Sunday (12pm to 4pm).

You can also email them at [email protected].

To open a new account, stop by one of their branches or apply directly online. You must be a resident of Saskatchewan, at least 18 years of age and must purchase $5 in member equity shares.

Is Affinity Credit Union Safe?

Affinity Credit Union is a member of the Credit Union Deposit Guarantee Corporation of Saskatchewan (CUDGC). What this means is that your deposits are 100% guaranteed should the credit union ever become insolvent.

Note that investment instruments such as mutual funds are not considered to be deposits and as such are not covered by CUDGC. Contents of safety deposit boxes are also excluded.

Conclusion

Credit unions offer their members an opportunity to become part-owners who have a say in how the credit union is run and who share in the profits.

This Affinity Credit Union review is part of a wider series on Canadian Credit Unions and how they stand as alternatives to traditional banks.

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Author

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Enoch Omololu

Enoch Omololu is a personal finance expert and a veterinarian. He has a master’s degree in Finance and Investment Management from the University of Aberdeen Business School (Scotland) and has completed several courses and certificates in finance, including the Canadian Securities Course. He also has an MSc. in Agricultural Economics from the University of Manitoba and a Doctor of Veterinary Medicine degree from the University of Ibadan. Enoch has a passion for helping others win with their personal finances and has been writing about money matters for over a decade. His writing has been featured or quoted in the Toronto Star, The Globe and Mail, MSN Money, Financial Post, Winnipeg Free Press, CPA Canada, Credit Canada, Wealthsimple, and many other personal finance publications.

His top investment tools include Wealthsimple and Questrade. He earns cash back on purchases using KOHO and monitors his credit score for free using Borrowell.

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