2018 RANKING & REVIEWS
TOP RANKING SACRAMENTO CREDIT UNIONS AND BANKS


2018 Ranking | Find Better Rates & More at one of Top 7 Banks & Credit Unions in Sacramento, CA

Sacramento, California sits about 88 miles northeast of San Francisco and has bragging rights as the capital of the state. The city has been named “America’s Most Diverse City” by Time magazine and is considered the fastest growing big city in California.

An interesting find while researching to identify the best credit unions and banks in Sacramento, CA was that residents really like credit unions! The top four searches for Sacramento, CA credit unions outnumbered the top four for Sacramento banks by over 580%.

Best Banks & Credit Unions in Sacramento, CA

Award Emblem: Top 7 Best Banks & Credit Unions in Sacramento, CA

This is why you’ll see a few more Sacramento, CA credit unions than banks on this 2018 AdviosoryHQ Ranking of best banks and credit unions in Sacramento. We’ve also dedicated an FAQ to explain how credit unions differ from Sacramento, California banks and why so many find them an attractive place to do their banking.

Let’s get started with an overview of the best banks and best credit unions in Sacramento. We’ll highlight what makes each one special, and at the end let you know which two financial institutions you may want to steer clear of and why.



Top 7 Best Banks & Best Credit Unions in Sacramento (& 2 to Avoid) | Brief Comparison & Ranking

Top Sacramento Credit Union or Bank

2018 Ratings
Bank of the West5
First U.S. Community Credit Union5
Golden 1 Credit Union5
California Community Credit Union3
River City Bank3
Sacramento Credit Union3
SAFE Credit Union3
Heritage Community Credit Union1
Umpqua Bank1

Table: Top 7 Best Banks & Credit Unions in Sacramento (& 2 to Avoid) | Above list is sorted by rating



AdvisoryHQ Ranking of Top Sacramento Banks FAQ | How Do Credit Unions in Sacramento, California Differ from Banks?

best credit unions in sacramento

Most credit unions in Sacramento, California, and the rest of the country, started when a small group of individuals pooled their money to help their colleagues with loans and other banking services.

Today, there are over 7,700 credit unions in the U.S., and most look no different in their services than banks. In order to compete and grow, they’ve opened up membership to a wider range of people, and many only require that you live in a certain county or area.

So, how did Sacramento, CA credit unions become so popular? How are they different from banks in Sacramento?

Here are a few ways that they differ:

  • Credit unions are not-for-profit, which gives them more flexibility.
  • Credit unions have membership eligibility requirements to bank there.
  • You can often find lower loan interest rates at a credit union in Sacramento, CA.
  • Credit unions can become members of the CO-OP network with shared branches and ATMs.
  • Profits are shared with members through increased savings interest, decreased loan interest or directly as a dividend.


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 – AdvisoryHQ’s Top Ranking Best Banks & Best Credit Unions in Sacramento (& 2 to Avoid)

Below, please find a detailed review of each firm on our list of top banks and credit unions in Sacramento, CA. We have highlighted some of the factors that allowed these credit unions and banks in Sacramento 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.

See Also: Best Credit Unions & Banks in Jacksonville, FL | Ranking



Bank of the West Review


Are you more comfortable with a larger bank that has a regional footprint? Then Bank of the West may be right up your alley. They’ve been around for over 135 years and are part of the leading international company, BNP Paribas. They have a presence in 23 U.S. states.

Below are the highlights that make Bank of the West stand out on AdvisoryHQ’s 2018 Ranking of the Best Banks and Credit Unions in Sacramento, CA.

Benefits of Bank of the West in Sacramento at a Glance:

  • 10 branch locations in Sacramento, CA & surrounding areas
  • Car financing from $5,500 and up
  • Free checking with just one deposit per statement
  • Investment and insurance products
  • Better Business Bureau (BBB) A+ rating

They Make Investing Easy

A benefit of keeping your money at one of the larger Sacramento, California banks is that they often have more robust “extras,” such as investment services. Bank of the West makes it easy to start your own stock portfolio with online trades as low as just $6.95.

Rating Summary

Due to high praise from customers for friendly and fast customer service, as well as the many awards they’ve received, we rated Bank of the West a 5. They’re definitely one of the best banks in Sacramento, CA, even if their Response Road branch is a little hard to find.

While their Sacramento branches to have a few mixed reviews, depending upon the location, by far the bank gets points for short lines and a great banking experience from reviewers. This a one of the top banks in Sacramento to use if you like a large bank that still treats their customers like family.

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First U.S. Community Credit Union Review


First U.S. Community Credit Union is a larger California regional credit union that’s been serving members since 1936. Anyone that lives, works, or worships in one of 12 counties in California, including Sacramento, is eligible to join. You can also work for one of their select employer groups to qualify for membership.

Below are the highlights that make First U.S. Community Credit Union stand out on AdvisoryHQ’s 2018 Ranking of the Best Banks and Credit Unions in Sacramento, CA.

Benefits of First U.S. Community Credit Union at a Glance:

  • 5 branch locations in Sacramento, CA & surrounding areas
  • Member of the CO-OP shared branches network
  • Get up to a $300 bonus when you refinance your auto loan
  • Free checking with no direct deposit requirement
  • Better Business Bureau (BBB) A+ rating

“Better Than FREE Checking”

Most people are used to some requirements at credit unions and banks in Sacramento, CA for free checking. But First U.S. has what they call “better than free checking”, which does not have any direct deposit or minimum balance requirements. It also includes lots of free perks like checks and a cash-back VISA® debit card.

Rating Summary

We scored First U.S. Community Credit Union a 5 on our ranking of the top Sacramento, California banks and credit unions. While they do have a few negative reviews due to things like changes in fee structures, their positive remarks outweigh the negative.

They get praise not only from their own members for extremely friendly customer service, but also people banking with another credit union using them in the shared branch network. If you like personal attention and great service, this is one of the best credit unions in Sacramento, California to try out.

Related: Best San Jose Banks & Credit Unions | Ranking



Golden 1 Credit Union Review


Golden 1 Credit Union was started in Sacramento in 1933 and has grown into one of the country’s largest credit unions, with over 900,000 members. Membership eligibility is easy to meet, you can join if you live or work in California or belong to one of nearly 1,000 select employer groups.

Below are the highlights that make Golden 1 Credit Union stand out on AdvisoryHQ’s 2018 Ranking of the Best Banks and Credit Unions in Sacramento, CA.

Benefits of Golden 1 Credit Union at a Glance:

  • 16 branch locations in Sacramento, CA & surrounding areas
  • Member of the CO-OP shared branches network
  • Auto loans starting at 3.24% APR
  • Free premium checking with direct deposit or minimum balance
  • Better Business Bureau (BBB) A+ rating

Online Financial Wellness Center

It’s always nice to have a little financial guidance, and Golden 1 Credit Union provides that with their virtual Financial Wellness Center. It contains online videos, webinars, podcasts, and a “Learning Lab” all designed to help you strengthen your financial well-being.

Rating Summary

Golden 1 Credit Union scored a 5 rating as one of the best Sacramento, California banks and credit unions. Members give them kudos for their technology tools, noting they were one of the first to support Apple Pay. They also appreciate having multiple free ATMs to use.

Their quick and friendly service keep customers sticking with them for years. They’re also one of the best credit unions in Sacramento to use if you like banks that give back to the community. They give community grants and support local charitable organizations.

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California Community Credit Union Review


California Community Credit Union came about after the merger of Triple S and Super U credit unions. Its heritage dates back to 1939 when Triple S Credit Union was started by employees of the Department of Employment in Sacramento.

Below are the highlights that make California Community Credit Union stand out on AdvisoryHQ’s 2018 Ranking of the Best Banks and Credit Unions in Sacramento, CA.

Benefits of California Community Credit Union at a Glance:

  • 4 branch locations in Sacramento, CA & surrounding areas
  • Member of the CO-OP shared branches network
  • Tax/IRA loans starting at 9.90% APR
  • Free checking with a savings account and initial $25 deposit
  • Better Business Bureau (BBB) A+ rating

Summer Toy Loans

This is the first time we’ve run across “Summer Toy Loans” at Sacramento banks or credit unions and they sound pretty great! Their 5.99% APR starting rate on a new or used jet ski, boat, or RV make getting out in the sun and having fun with a new “toy” something within reach for many.

Rating Summary

We rated California Community Credit Union a 3 on our 2018 Ranking of the Best Banks and Credit Unions. They don’t have many reviews, and the few mixed ones note issues with an ATM and slow service, but they also received praise for being easy to bank with.

This is one of the credit unions in Sacramento, California with easy to meet membership requirements. If you live, work, or worship in Sacramento, Placer, or Stanislaus counties, you can join.

Their great loan rates and free and easy checking make them one of the attractive Sacramento, CA credit unions to check out.

Read More: The Best Austin Credit Unions & Banks | Ranking



River City Bank Review


If you’re a business owner, you’ll be interested in this next bank in Sacramento that began in 1972. River City Bank is the largest premier business bank in the Sacramento, CA region, and they offer excellent personal banking too.

Below are the highlights that make River City Bank stand out on AdvisoryHQ’s 2018 Ranking of the Best Banks and Credit Unions in Sacramento, CA.

Benefits of River City Bank in Sacramento at a Glance:

  • 10 branch locations in Sacramento, CA & surrounding areas
  • Commercial lending and personal loans
  • Premier Banking with concierge service
  • Wealth management services
  • Better Business Bureau (BBB) A+ rating

A Bank Designed for Businesses

If you own a company and are seeking the best Sacramento banks that are business friendly, you’ll want to consider River City Bank. They offer deposit and cash management as well as commercial and real estate lending. Whether you’re a non-profit organization or in retail, they offer specific banking products to support your growth.

Rating Summary

We rated River City Bank a 3 on our list of the best banks and best credit unions in Sacramento. While employees give River City Bank high marks as a great and productive place to work, customer reviews for service are mixed, depending upon the staff member worked with.

This is definitely one of the Sacramento, California banks with premier services both for company and personal accounts. So, if you like to get a little extra pampering with your banking, you’ll definitely want to consider this top bank in Sacramento, CA.

Related: WaterStone Bank, SSB Ranking & Review


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Sacramento Credit Union Review


Sacramento Credit Union is a homegrown financial institution that was started in 1935 by county employees. They’ve grown quite a bit since then, but are still committed to serving the Sacramento region. Anyone that lives or works in the counties of El Dorado, Placer, Sacramento, Solano, Sutter, Yolo, or Yuba can join.

Below are the highlights that make Sacramento Credit Union stand out on AdvisoryHQ’s 2018 Ranking of the Best Banks and Credit Unions in Sacramento.

Benefits of Sacramento Credit Union at a Glance:

  • 7 branch locations in Sacramento, CA & surrounding areas
  • Member of the CO-OP shared branches network
  • Auto loans starting at 2.49% APR
  • Three options for free checking accounts
  • Better Business Bureau (BBB) A+ rating

Free Checking for Any Type of Account

If you like your checking free and with no strings attached, then you’ve got plenty of options at Sacramento Credit Union. They have a simple free checking account, interest-bearing free checking, and a free rewards checking account with even more perks to choose from.

Rating Summary

Sacramento Credit Union scored a high 3 on our ranking of the best banks and best credit unions in Sacramento. Some customers were displeased with problems trying to fix account issues or not getting loans, while others praised their friendly service and helpfulness in getting the best loan and rates for their needs.

They have 24/7 card transaction assistance by phone, which is very helpful in this age of identity theft. Their loan rates are also some of the best we’ve seen at any credit unions or banks in Sacramento.

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SAFE Credit Union Review


SAFE Credit Union was started in 1940 to serve employees at the Sacramento Air Depot. They now have over 200,000 members and serve anyone that lives, works, or worships in any one of 13 California counties.

Below are the highlights that make SAFE Credit Union stand out on AdvisoryHQ’s 2018 Ranking of the Best Banks and Credit Unions in Sacramento, CA.

Benefits of SAFE Credit Union in Sacramento at a Glance:

  • 14 branch locations in Sacramento, CA & surrounding areas
  • Member of the CO-OP shared branches network
  • Auto loans starting at 3.24% APR
  • Two free checking options when you meet certain requirements
  • Better Business Bureau (BBB) A+ rating

SAFE Visa® Credit Card Rewards

Just because you choose to bank with Sacramento, CA credit unions doesn’t mean you have to give up credit card rewards programs. SAFE Credit Union offers five different VISA® credit cards to earn cash rewards, get a low rate starting at 9.74% APR, or support the Aerospace Museum of California.

Rating Summary

We rated SAFE Credit Union a 3 as one of the best credit unions in Sacramento. A few customers note issues with fast service and debit cards when traveling, but happy customers give them high marks for having friendly staff and short lines.

They’re one of the more convenient credit unions in Sacramento, serving 13 counties and being a CO-OP network member. They also have tons of resources for both personal and business banking customers, including wealth management.

Popular Article: Review of JPMorgan Chase Bank


Heritage Community Credit Union Review


Now, it’s time to reveal the first of two credit unions or banks in Sacramento that you may want to avoid for now. The first, is Heritage Community Credit Union, which you may see come up on a search of credit unions in Sacramento, California, but they only have an ATM there at the VA Medical Center, no branches.

Below are some of the improvements we feel would help Heritage Community Credit Union have a chance at a better ranking among the best credit unions in Sacramento in the future.

Focus Some Branches in Sacramento

While they are part of the CO-OP shared branches network, which allows customers to use other member credit unions, it would show commitment to the area if they had at least one or two dedicated branches in Sacramento. The nearest branches are in Golden River, Fair Oaks, and Folsom.

Rating Summary

As a credit union in Sacramento, CA that we think you may want to avoid for the time being, Heritage Community Credit Union scored a 1 rating. They have a few mixed reviews online about negative loan experience, but also have customers that have been with them for over a decade and enjoy banking there.

They have an attractive online presence, so the main drawback we see is the lack of dedicated branches in the capital city of Sacramento. If they added just a few to service this city, we can easily see them being named one of the best credit unions in Sacramento in the future.


Umpqua Bank Review


Umpqua Bank is the second of the Sacramento, CA credit unions or banks that you may want to steer clear of until they improve a few things. In their case, it’s about their online reputation and customer service. They have a glaring D- rating at the Better Business Bureau (BBB), which really hurts their ability for a good ranking.

Below are some of the improvements we feel would help Umpqua Bank get a shot at being considered as one of the top banks in Sacramento in the future.

Focus on Customer Service

Not all their reviews at Yelp are negative, and some branches, like Capital Mall, get higher marks than others. But customer service is the main complaint we see from those that grade Umpqua low, so some focus in this area would definitely help. Additionally, answering all complaints at the BBB could help them raise that D- rating.

Rating Summary

As one of the banks in Sacramento that you may want to avoid until they improve their customer service reputation, we scored Umpqua Bank a 1 in our listing of banks and credit unions in Sacramento, CA.

They’ve got 8 locations in Sacramento, so they definitely are looking to serve this community. Just a little more effort both online, by responding to complaints, and offline, by improving customer service, could easily give Umpqua a chance at a better ranking in the future.


Conclusion – Top 7 Best Sacramento Credit Unions & Banks (and 2 to Avoid)

Sacramento may not be the largest city in California, but it commands respect as the capital city. Sacramento banks and credit unions have definitely noticed that it’s one of the fastest growing cities in the state by offering competitive services and rates in order to gain your business.

While credit unions seem to be the most popular in Sacramento and have easy to meet membership requirements, there are also some great banks to choose from. No matter which type of banking you prefer, with a top Sacramento credit union or bank, you’ve got plenty of benefits and free checking options with each type.


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