2018 RANKING & REVIEWS
TOP RANKING BEST MILWAUKEE BANKS & CREDIT UNIONS
The Best Banks & Credit Unions in Milwaukee (+ 2 to Avoid) | Find Great Loan Rates & Free Checking
Known for great beer and great cheese, Milwaukee, Wisconsin is the second largest city in the Midwest, just behind Chicago. If you’re from Milwaukee, then you most likely used a TYME machine (Take Your Money Everywhere) before knowing it was called an ATM by everyone else.
Whether you’re new to the city or have lived there all your life, you’ll want to know the best banks in Milwaukee for a great interest rate on a loan or a fee-free checking account. And we’ve got the names!
Award Emblem: Top 6 Best Banks & Credit Unions in Milwaukee, WI
For our top 6 ranking, we reviewed multiple credit unions and banks in Milwaukee, WI, looking at customer reviews, interest rates, member benefits and more. We’ve chosen the best banks that are not to be missed, whether you’re looking for checking & savings accounts or home & auto loans in Milwaukee.
Read on, and we’ll also let you know which two banks or credit unions in Milwaukee didn’t quite make the cut.
Top 6 Best Milwaukee Banks & Credit Unions (& 2 to Avoid) | Brief Comparison & Ranking
|Credit Union or Bank in Milwaukee||2018 Ratings|
|Educators Credit Union||5|
|Landmark Credit Union||5|
|Summit Credit Union||5|
|BMO Harris Bank||3|
|Brewery Credit Union||1|
Table: Top 6 Banks & Credit Unions in Milwaukee, Wisconsin (& 2 to Avoid) | Above list is sorted by rating
Banks & Credit Unions in Milwaukee FAQ | What Are Loan Interest Rates Based On?
When researching loans from banks and credit unions in Milwaukee, you’ll see differing interest rates being offered. One bank in Milwaukee might offer 3.25% on auto loans, while another offers 2.95%.
So, why the difference and what are those interest rates based on?
There are a number of factors that Milwaukee credit unions and banks use to calculate the loan rate they offer. Besides, needing to make a buck by lendng out money, other factors that go into the decision are:
- Your FICO score (credit worthiness)
- The term length of the loan
- Age of a car or home being financed
- The bank’s policy based on U.S. Federal Reserve Bank rates
- Competition (what other credit unions & banks in Milwaukee, WI are offering)
According to ValuePenguin, the average APR for an auto loan in the U.S. ranges from 3% to 10%. That’s a pretty wide margin and it gives you lots of opportunity to find the banks with the best rates on loans in Milwaukee.
AdvisoryHQ’s Selection Methodology
What methodology does AdvisoryHQ use in selecting and finalizing the credit cards, financial products, firms, services, and products that are ranked on its various top-rated lists?
Please click here “AdvisoryHQ’s Ranking Methodologies” for a detailed review of AdvisoryHQ’s selection methodologies for ranking top-rated credit cards, financial accounts, firms, products, and services.
Detailed Review – Top Ranking Best Credit Unions & Best Banks in Milwaukee (and 2 to Avoid)
Below, please find a detailed review of each firm on our list of top Milwaukee credit unions and banks. We have highlighted some of the factors that allowed each bank or credit union Milwaukee offers to score so highly in our selection ranking
Click on any of the names below to go directly to the review section for that firm.
- Chase Bank
- Educators Credit Union
- Landmark Credit Union
- Summit Credit Union
- BMO Harris Bank
- Johnson Bank
- Brewery Credit Union
- Mitchell Bank
Chase Bank Review
If you like the convenience of banking with a nationwide financial institution, then you’ll want to consider Chase Bank in Milwaukee. Chase serves nearly 50% of American households with a full range of personal, small business, and corporate financial services.
Below are the highlights that make Chase Bank Milwaukee stand out on this 2018 Ranking of the Best Milwaukee Banks & Credit Unions.
Chase Bank Benefits at a Glance:
- 28 branch locations in Milwaukee, Wisconsin & surrounding areas
- 5,100 branches and 16,000 ATMs in the U.S.
- Auto loans starting at 4.24% APR
- Interest-earning checking, free with linked qualiying account or loan
- 15% APY on an 18-month CD
Credit Cards that Pay You Back
If you like earning money just for buying things, then Chase Bank Milwaukee has some attractive credit card options for you. Their Chase-Freedom Unlimited® card lets you earn unlimited cash back and gives you $150 bonus after you spend $500 during the first 3 months.
Despite some past troubles by their parent company JPMorgan Chase bringing down the BBB rating for everyone, Chase Bank Milwaukee has some great reviews for their friendly “with a smile” customer service. So we felt that the Chase banks in Milwaukee, WI deserved a 5 rating.
Besides the excellent customer service, customers also noted they have a very convenient location if you work in downtown Milwaukee. Many said they were skeptical about banking with Chase, but the incredibly helpful staff changed their impressions.
Overall, Chase Bank in the Milwaukee area illustrates the best of what other Chase locations can strive for to overcome a bad “big bank” reputation.
Educators Credit Union Review
Many people bypass this credit union in Milwaukee because they think it’s just for teachers. While Educators Credit Union was initially started in 1937 by teachers, today you don’t have to be an educator to join. Anyone that lives or works in southeastern Wisconsin, in any of 11 counties, can join.
Below are the highlights that make Educators Credit Union stand out on this 2018 Ranking of Best Milwaukee Banks & Credit Unions.
Benefits at Educators Credit Union in Milwaukee at a Glance:
- 8 branch locations in Milwaukee, Wisconsin & surrounding areas
- 22 branches throughout Wisconsin
- Auto loans starting at 2.45% APR
- Free checking with points earning debit card
- 51% APY on an 18-month IRA share certificates
Lend A Hand Program
Everyone can use a little help from time to time with their credit score. Educators is one of the best credit unions to go to if you’re looking for better rates on loans in Milwaukee than your current credit score allows. They saved members $15 million last year by lending a hand through this program.
We rated Educators Credit Union a 5 on our ranking of the best banks and credit unions in Milwaukee. Besides going the extra mile to help their members save money, they also have cool perks like using your own photo to personalized your debit or credit card.
Their auto loan rates are definitely some of the lowest you’ll find at Milwaukee credit unions or banks. You can also score rewards for gift cards, travel and more through their Points for Perks program that works with both debit and credit cards.
Educators Credit Union may be one of the best kept secrets in the city, just because of their name. If you’re looking for one of the best credit unions in Milwaukee with a hometown atmosphere, you’ll want to visit one of their branches to see what they have to offer.
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Landmark Credit Union Review
Landmark Credit Union was started in 1933 to serve employees at Rex Chainbelt Company. This credit union in Milwaukee has grown quite a bit since then, and now has 31 branches, and anyone that lives or works in Southern Wisconsin or Northeastern Illinois is eligible to join.
Below are the highlights that make Landmark Credit Union stand out on this 2018 Ranking of the Best Milwaukee Banks & Credit Unions.
Landmark Credit Union in Milwaukee at a Glance:
- 19 branch locations in Milwaukee, Wisconsin & surrounding areas
- Member of the CO-OP shared branches network of 5,000+ branches
- Auto loans starting at 2.79% APR
- Three free checking account choices with $0 minimum balance
- 70% APY on a 15-month certificate account
Excellent Loan Rates
If you’re looking to get a loan, then you’ll want to check here first. Landmark is one of the Milwaukee credit unions with great rates on loans. You can get a home equity line of credit for as low as 1.99% APR, home equity loans for 3.29% APR, and a 30-year fixed mortgage for 4.159% APR.
You can tell the best banks and credit unions in Milwaukee from the things their customers say. Landmark Credit Union has glowing reviews on their service and support from multiple members. Of note, is that many of them say they’ve been with this credit union for years.
Due to their great rates on loans in Milwaukee plus other money saving products, like free checking and high interest earning certificates, Landmark scored a 5 on our list of the best Milwaukee banks and credit unions.
Summit Credit Union Review
If you like award-winning Milwaukee credit unions and banks, then you’re going to love Summit Credit Union. They’ve earned multiple awards such as “United Way People’s Choice Innovation Award” and “Best Financial Institution” from numerous local and national organizations and publications.
Below are the highlights that make Summit Credit Union stand out on AdvisoryHQ’s 2018 Ranking of the Best Credit Unions & Banks in Milwaukee.
Summit Credit Union in Milwaukee at a Glance:
- 6 branch locations in Milwaukee, Wisconsin & surrounding areas
- In the top 4% nationwide for returning value to their members
- Auto loans starting at 2.49% APR
- Free student checking with unlimited non-Summit ATM withdrawals
- 50% APY on a 18-month certificate account
Money Smarts Programs
Looking for a fun way to learn money management and grown your nest egg at the same time? Summit is one of the Milwaukee credit unions that puts a unique spin on their financial education programs. Whether you’re just getting started or planning to become a millionaire, their Money Smarts programs can help you get there.
We rated Summit Credit Union a 5 as one of the best credit unions in Milwaukee. Members sing their praises for their fast and friendly service and the help they receive rebuilding credit or managing their finances.
From insurance products to personal and business banking, Summit is one of the Milwaukee credit unions with a lot to offer. Other perks include free money management events, personalized debit card designs, and balance transfers with 0.99% APR for 12 months.
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BMO Harris Bank Review
BMO Harris Bank was established in 1882 and is one of the largest regional banks in the Midwest. They have over 600 branches throughout Arizona, Florida, Illinois, Indiana, Kansas, Minnesota, Missouri, and Wisconsin serving personal, commercial, and affluent customers.
Below are the highlights that make BMO Harris Bank stand out on our2018 Ranking of the Best Milwaukee Banks & Credit Unions.
BMO Harris Bank in Milwaukee at a Glance:
- 25 branch locations in Milwaukee, Wisconsin & surrounding areas
- Access to 40,000 no-fee ATMs in the U.S.
- Auto loans starting at 4.80% APR
- Free checking with unlimited transactions
- 75% APY on an 18-month CD
Premier Banking Services
BMO Harris is one of the best banks in Milwaukee to consider if you’re looking for personalized banking services. Their BMO Harris Premier Services offer a coordinated banking and investment team to assist their clients with managing and growing their money. Tiered interest rates and other perks are also included.
We scored BMO Harris Bank a 3 on our list of the top banks and credit unions in Milwaukee. Their regional footprint and multiple branches across the U.S. provide flexibility should you travel or move out of state.
They have a few mixed reviews due to complaints about their products or customer service, but they do try to address and remedy each one, which is why they have an A+ Better Business Bureau (BBB) rating.
While they may not have the lowest rates on loans in Milwaukee, they have a solid reputation that’s over a century old and offer a full range of banking and investment products. If you’re looking for one of the larger banks in Milwaukee, WI, you’ll definitely want to consider BMO Harris.
Johnson Bank Union Review
Johnson Bank is actually connected to the famous SC Johnson consumer products company, being started in 1970 by Samuel C. Johnson. This is one of the best banks in Milwaukee that almost exclusively serves the residents of Wisconsin. Most of their branches are in that state, with a few in the Phoenix, AZ area.
Below are the highlights that make Johnson Bank stand out on AdvisoryHQ’s 2018 Ranking of the Best Milwaukee Banks & Credit Unions.
Benefits at Johnson Bank in Milwaukee at a Glance:
- 22 branch locations in Milwaukee, Wisconsin & surrounding areas
- Access to surcharge free ATMs at Kwik Trip locations
- Calculator that compares buying a car with an auto loan as compared to a home equity loan (example auo loan rate is 7%, home equity is 4%)
- $10 or $20 fee for monthly checking, waived with qualifying balance
- CDs and IRAs offered
Insurance for Just About Everything
Like to keep the number of companies you deal with to a minimum? Then you’ll appreciate that Johnson is one of the banks in Milwaukee, WI that offers insurance through Johnson Insurance. You can get auto, home, renters, umbrella, flood, life, or any one of multiple other types of insurance at this bank in Milwaukee.
We scored Johnson Bank at high 3 on our list of the best Milwaukee credit unions and banks. The only thing holding them back from a higher score that was they don’t give their loan or CD rates on their website, as do many other best banks in Milwaukee.
If it’s important to you to have a bank dedicated to the Badger State and that gives back to Wisconsin communities, Johnson is one of the best Milwaukee banks to consider. Their staff volunteer regularly for community service and Johnson Bank sponsors local event, charities, and community development.
Brewery Credit Union Review
Now it’s time to share the two banks or credit unions in Milwaukee that we recommend avoiding for the time being, and unfortunately the first of those is Brewery Credit Union. Across the board, this Milwaukee credit union receives poor customer reviews no matter which site you visit.
Below are some of the improvements we feel would help earn Brewery Credit Union a better ranking on a future listing of the best Milwaukee banks and credit unions.
Reduce High Fees
A common complaint among unhappy customers is feeling drawn in by low loan interest rates then hit with high account fees after they join. If Brewery Credit Union took a look at reducing high or unnecessary fees, or at the very least being more transparent, members may not feel like a bait and switch victim.
For multiple reasons we recommend avoiding Brewery Credit Union until they’ve cleaned up their reputation. Very poor customer service was another common complaint from members along with having to wait up to 30-days for a hold on a check to access funds.
Brewery was given a 1 rating due to being one of the credit unions in Milwaukee we recommend staying away from. In time and with a lot of work on their customer support and member experience, they could become someone to consider in the future.
Mitchell Bank Review
The second bank in Milwaukee you may want to bypass is Mitchell Bank. They don’t have the problem with multiple bad reviews, in fact, it’s difficult to find any reviews at all. They do however have just a single Milwaukee location and just 2 locations in New Berlin, WI.
Below are some of the improvements we feel would help earn Mitchell Bank a better ranking on a future listing of the best banks in Milwaukee.
Improve Their Website
First impressions mean a lot, and for most Milwaukee credit unions and banks these days that first impression is their website. Mitchell Bank’s site is outdated with a poor design and not sized well for all viewing devices. Improving their website with a more modern an visually engaging design could go a long way toward inspiring confidence.
You’re never going to be people’s “Bank of Choice,” as they state on their website, if you’ve only got 3 total branch locations. In order to come close to completing with the best banks in Milwaukee, they need to expand their footprint.
We scored Mitchell Bank a 1 for now as a bank to avoid in Milwaukee. But since they’re not suffering from bad reviews, it should be easier for them to update their image and presence and earn another chance in the future at being considered among the best banks in Milwaukee.
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Conclusion – Top 6 Best Banks & Credit Unions in Milwaukee, WI
Do you like a bank with a global footprint and a branch in every town in the country? Or a homegrown and dedicated financial institution that’s focused to giving back to the community? No matter which type is your preference, you’ll find a perfect match among these best Milwaukee banks and credit unions.
Low loan interest, great CD rates, free financial management, and personalized debit cards are just a few of the perks you might be missing out on at your current bank. So, if you’re looking to get ahead financially, it never hurts to check out what each of the top banks or credit unions in Milwaukee has to offer.
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