For the second year in a row, Air Force Federal Credit Union, Pentagon Federal Credit Union and Navy Federal Credit Union have been named among the Top 5 Military Banking Institutions byGOBankingRates.
The consumer shopping website, owned by ConsumerTrack, Inc., of Los Angeles, recently unveiled the new rankings, which were based on the types of services and programs offered, the company said.
"This list can help active and retired members of the armed forces connect with banks and credit unions that are making waves when it comes to financial education and money-saving resources for military families," said Jennifer Calonia, a senior editor at GOBankingRates.
The $361 million Air Force FCU in San Antonio, which topped last year’s list, was toppled this year. The number one spot in 2014 goes to USAA Bank, followed in order by Navy Federal, Air Force, PenFed and Armed Forces Bank.
The $55 billion Navy Federal was recognized for products such as its Recruit Training Credit Building Program, which offers a pre-approved credit card with a $1,000 limit to qualified members stationed at the Great Lakes and Parris Island military bases.
Other products and services at Navy prompted praise from GOBankingRates, including Active Duty Checking, which provides up to $20 in ATM fee rebates each month, free military checks and priority access to military pay.
“The men and women of the U.S. armed forces deserve the very best and we give it to them,” said Cutler Dawson, CEO and president of the 4.7 million-member Navy of Vienna, Va. “They show us in their loyalty and continued member growth that we are doing the right things, providing them with real value, and helping them to achieve financial success.”
Air Force FCU received kudos for its sequestration assistance and Temporary Relocation Relief program, which entitles qualified members being deployed or assigned outside the U.S. to defer loan payments up to 90 days.
“These programs are intended to assist our members by offering loan extensions, bridge loans to cover their checks or refinancing of their loans as they deal with financial hardship,” said Bob Glenn, President/CEO, of Air Force FCU. “With today’s economic pressure to cut military spending affecting many members and their families, we have developed services specially designed to meet the unique needs of those providing for the defense of our country,” he added “We continue to support those who serve our country when they need it most. It is one of our greatest honors.”
The $16.8 billion Pentagon Federal Credit Union in Alexandria, Va., landed on the list by helping to secure members’ financial stability with low-interest credit card offers, affordable auto loans and a regular savings account that yields 0.10% APY with a minimum deposit of $5.
“It is an honor to make the “Best Military Financial Intuitions of 2014” list,” said James Schenck, executive vice president at PenFed. “Our service to the military isn’t about business — it’s the focus and core of all that we do. Our great rates and low fees aren’t an accident; these are the kind of outstanding financial products that our nation’s heroes deserve.”