RANKING & REVIEWS
TOP RANKING SAN DIEGO CREDIT UNIONS AND BANKS


Where are the Best Credit Unions & Banks in San Diego, California? (and Which One Should You Avoid?)

One of California’s most popular cities is San Diego. It’s about 120 miles south of Los Angeles and is known for its beautiful beaches, parks and perfect climate. The city is also home to some great options if you’re looking for San Diego banks or credit unions.

If you live, work, or go to school in San Diego or one of its suburbs, like Encinitas, Del Mar, or Carlsbad, you’ll want to know the best banks and credit unions in San Diego that have deals on free checking accounts, great loan rates, and have convenient locations.

Best Banks & Credit Unions in San Diego, CA

Award Emblem: Best 8 Banks & Credit Unions in San Diego, CA

Some people prefer for-profit banks, and others prefer non-profit credit unions, so we’ve taken a look into both types of financial institutions to bring you the 8 Best San Diego Credit Unions and Banks to entrust with your finances, plus one that you might want to avoid.

To compile our ranking of the Best Banks and Credit Unions in San Diego, CA, we’re taking a look at things that are important to people—number of locations, reputation, and whether the bank or credit union in San Diego has a home town feel.

We’ve included a mix of different size San Diego banks and credit unions, so whether you like a larger financial institution with international locations or prefer a smaller San Diego bank where everyone knows your name, one of these should be a perfect fit.



Top 8 Best San Diego Banks & Credit Unions (and One to Avoid) | Brief Comparison & Ranking

San Diego Banks and Credit Unions

Ratings

California Bank & Trust

5

California Coast Credit Union

5

Mission Federal Credit Union

5

Pacific Western Bank

5

San Diego County Credit Union

5

Comerica Bank

3

Point Loma Credit Union

3

Wells Fargo

3

Cabrillo Credit Union

1

Table: 8 Best Banks & Credit Unions in San Diego (and 1 to Avoid) | Above list is sorted by rating



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Detailed Review – Top Ranking Best Credit Unions & Banks in San Diego, CA

Below, please find a detailed review of each firm in our 2018 Ranking of top San Diego Credit Unions and Banks. We have highlighted some of the factors that allowed each bank or credit union in San Diego 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: LegacyTexas Bank (Ranking & Review)



Cabrillo Credit Union Review


Let’s go ahead and start with the one credit union in San Diego to avoid. Unfortunately, Cabrillo Credit Union hasn’t quite got the same great reputation as the other San Diego banks on our list, so you may want to avoid this one until they improve on a few items.

Cabrillo Credit Union was started in 1955 and they have 5 locations in the San Diego area. Reviews for this San Diego credit union are very mixed. High fees and poor online services are two things that people mention as needing improvement.

Cabrillo Credit Union San Diego, CA Services at a Glance:

  • 5 locations in San Diego, California, & surrounding areas
  • Auto & personal loans
  • CDs & money market accounts
  • Part of the CO-OP Shared Branches
  • Personal savings, checking, & IRAs
  • Better Business Bureau B- rating

Things That Cabrillo Credit Union Can Do to Improve their Ranting as a Best Credit Union in San Diego

Better Online & Mobile Banking

In today’s connected world, being able to easily bank online using your computer or smartphone is really important. If Cabrillo upped their game by improving their mobile and online banking, we would be willing to revisit their rating.

Don’t Miss: M&T Bank Review & Ranking | What You Should Know About M&T Bank



California Bank & Trust Review


If you’re looking for an award-winning local San Diego bank, then California Bank & Trust may be one you’ll want to check out. They were voted “Best Bank in Orange County” by the readers of The Orange County Register for the 4th consecutive year.

This is one of the banks in San Diego, California that has been serving the community for over 60 years. And, if you travel through California, you’ll be happy to know they have nearly 100 branch offices throughout the state.

san diego credit union

California Bank & Trust San Diego Services at a Glance:

  • 20 locations in San Diego, California & surrounding areas
  • Business credit cards rewards programs
  • Personal loans & lines of credit
  • Commercial banking & financing
  • Wealth management & financial planning
  • Better Business Bureau A+ rating

Highlights That Make California Bank & Trust Stand Out on Our List of Best San Diego Credit Unions and Banks

Treasury Management

If you’re a business owner, then you’ll appreciate that this is one of the best banks in San Diego to use for treasury management tools that help you manage your payables and receivables more efficiently.

Checking Account Options

Do you like choosing between unlimited check writing, an interest-bearing account, and more? This is one of the banks in San Diego, California that gives you multiple personal checking account options.

Rating Summary

We rated California Bank & Trust a 5 as one of the best banks in San Diego. They keep a local feel, while offering the services and products you find at larger banks.

Related: Huntington Bank Reviews – What You Need to Know Before Using Huntington Bancshares



California Coast Credit Union Review


Now, we’ll take a look at one of the most popular credit unions in San Diego, California Coast Credit Union. They were founded in 1929 with the guiding principle of “people helping people.”

This is one of the best credit unions in San Diego to bank with if you like having both multiple branches in town and access to over 5,000 shared branch locations across the country.

California Coast Credit Union San Diego Services at a Glance:

  • 20 locations in San Diego, California & surrounding areas
  • Debit & credit card security
  • Mortgage & home equity loans
  • Investment & retirement planning
  • Members only discounts
  • Better Business Bureau A+ rating

Highlights That Make California Coast Credit Union Stand Out on Our List of Best San Diego Credit Unions & Banks

Excellent Mobile Banking App

California Coast Credit Union rolls with the times. California Coast Credit Union’s excellent app allows you to lock your credit cards, manage a budget, and view all your accounts.

Banking Designed for Your Life

A great feature of the California Coast Credit Union website is their “Know & Plan” menu. It allows you to choose your bank services according to your stage in life, such as:

  • Family Life
  • Work Life
  • Student Life
  • and more

Rating Summary

California Coast Credit Union gets a perfect 5 on our Best Banks & Credit Unions in San Diego Ranking because their mobile app is one of the best out there.

Popular Article: How to Choose a Bank | Guide



Comerica Bank Review


Comerica Bank has been in the banking business for over 165 years, making them one of the oldest banks in San Diego, CA on our list. They started as Detroit Savings Fund and have grown to serving customers throughout the U.S., Canada, and Mexico.

This is one of the San Diego banks that puts a focus on relationship building with personal and business banking customers. They are located in 10 of the 7 largest cities in the U.S.

Comerica Bank San Diego Services at a Glance:

  • 14 locations in San Diego, California & surrounding areas
  • Business advisory services
  • Comercia Web Banking®
  • Property & life insurance
  • Retirement & estate planning
  • Better Business Bureau A+ rating

Highlights That Make Comerica Bank Stand Out on Our List of Best San Diego Credit Unions and Banks

Business Owner Advisory Services

Have you wondered where to go for trusted business advice? Comerica is one of the banks in San Diego, California that makes helping companies a priority. You can take advantage of their Business Owner Advisory Services to make a financial plan to grow your business.

Insurance Options

Not all banks in San Diego, CA sell insurance, but Comerica does. You can choose between multiple insurance types from life and property to dental, pet health, and legal services insurance.

Rating Summary

We rated Comerica a high 3. They have a lot of great things going for them, and if they upgraded their website to reach out to more people, they could easily score higher.

Read More: Guaranty Bank & Trust Ranking & Review



Mission Federal Credit Union Review


If you’re looking for one of the best credit unions in San Diego that exclusively serves that area, then look no further than Mission Federal Credit Union. They are the largest locally-owned financial institution that exclusively serves San Diego County.

Mission Federal Credit Union started in 1961 serving public school employees, then expanded their membership in 1978. This is a credit union in San Diego, CA which you are eligible to join simply by living, working, or attending school in San Diego County.

Best Mission Federal Credit Union Services at a Glance:

  • 30 locations in San Diego, California & surrounding areas
  • Personal checking & savings accounts
  • Loans & credit cards
  • LiveSmart insurance products
  • Commercial real estate lending
  • Better Business Bureau A+ rating

Highlights That Make Mission Federal Credit Union Stand Out on Our List of Best San Diego Credit Unions and Banks

Excellent Loan Rates

Mission Federal Credit Union is one of the best credit unions in San Diego, CA to use if you are looking for some great lending rates. They currently offer credit cards with a 0% intro APR, home loans as low as 3.875%, and auto loans as low as 1.99% APR.

They All About San Diegans

Want to feel like part of the family when you go to your credit union? This is one of the San Diego credit unions that is very involved in the local community, supporting non-profits, schools, and community events.

Rating Summary

Mission Federal Credit Union scores a 5 in our ranking. They are the picture of what a home town, community San Diego credit union should be like.

Related: Frost Bank (Ranking & Review)



Pacific Western Bank Review


Pacific Western Bank is another of the award-winning San Diego banks on our list. They recently earned a #1 ranking on Forbes Best Banks in America list.

They’re also one of the banks in San Diego, CA that is continuing to grow. They just acquired California United Bank to further expand their branch and banking network, giving customers of both more options.

Best Pacific Western Services at a Glance:

  • 10 locations in San Diego, California & surrounding areas
  • Personal & business checking/savings
  • Cash management tools
  • Multiple lending options
  • Community service & education
  • Better Business Bureau A+ rating

Highlights That Make Pacific Western Bank Stand Out on Our List of Best San Diego Credit Unions and Banks

Industry Expertise

Whether you’re looking to buy commercial real estate, or are a school or Home Owner’s Association (HOA) that needs a financial partner, this is one of the banks in San Diego, California that is focused on catering to all those needs and more. 

Community Service

Pacific Western is one of the San Diego banks that puts their time and money back into the San Diego community. Here are a few examples of their community service:

  • Teaching financial education to high school students
  • Supporting San Diego Habitat for Humanity
  • Loan to support efforts to alleviate drought conditions in San Joaquin Valley

Rating Summary

Pacific Western Bank earns a perfect 5 on our Best Banks and Credit Unions in San Diego Ranking. They have a robust offering of personal and business banking services, plus they are very involved in their community.

Don’t Miss: Community Trust Bank Ranking & Review


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Point Loma Credit Union Review


Another one of the best credit unions in San Diego, California that was born there is Point Loma Credit Union. It opened its doors in 1948 to initially serve employees of the Naval Electronics Laboratory.

Today, this is an easy-to-join best credit union in San Diego. You only need to live, work, or worship in either San Diego or Riverside County to qualify for membership, or be a family member of someone who does.

Point Loma Credit Union Services at a Glance:

  • 6 locations in San Diego, California & surrounding areas
  • Secured & unsecured credit card offers
  • Checking, savings, & youth accounts
  • Investments through CUSO Financial Services (CFS)
  • Business banking & loans
  • Better Business Bureau A+ rating

Highlights That Make Point Loma Credit Union Stand Out on Our List of Best San Diego Credit Unions and Banks

Investment & Financial Planning

Are you looking for tax-efficient investments? How about an IRA or funding for your child’s college education? Through their connection with CFS, Point Loma is a San Diego credit union that can offer you multiple investment products. 

Credit Card Options

Point Loma Credit Union is one of the best credit unions in San Diego, CA to join for multiple credit card offers. Whether you’re just starting to build credit or are ready to increase your credit line, they’ve got you covered with card options to fit your lifestyle.

Rating Summary

We gave Point Loma Credit Union a 3 rating mainly due to the limited number of locations. If they added a few more locations, they could easily score higher on our list of Best San Diego Banks & Credit Unions.

Popular Article: Bremer Bank Ranking & Reviews


San Diego County Credit Union Review


Another popular San Diego credit unions for banking is San Diego County Credit Union. It began in 1938 to serve the financial needs of local county government employees, but now serves everyone living or working in San Diego, Riverside, or Orange County.

But if you live in another area you would like to join this San Diego credit union, they’ve got another way to join. You can just open an $8 account at the Financial Fitness Association.

best credit unions in san diego

San Diego County Credit Union Services at a Glance:

  • 12 locations in San Diego, California & surrounding areas
  • Member discounts & cash back offers
  • CDs & IRA investment products
  • Home, auto, & personal loans
  • Online & mobile banking
  • Better Business Bureau A+ rating

Highlights That Make San Diego County Credit Union Stand Out on Our List of Best San Diego Credit Unions and Banks

Attractive Savings Interest Rates

Are you a “safe saver”, but still want to earn a decent return on your money? Then San Diego County Credit Union is a top San Diego credit union to open an account with. They have options for “Great Rate Savings” on multiple account types.

Online & Mobile Banking

If you prefer making deposits with your smartphone and having access to your accounts anytime, anywhere, San Diego County Credit Union has you covered. They offer quick, secure, and easy access to bank online.

Rating Summary

San Diego County Credit Union earns a 5 rating. They have an excellent reputation and they back that up with great rates and financial services.


Wells Fargo Review


The last of the banks in San Diego, CA on our list is by far the largest and most well known, Wells Fargo. We’ve included them for those of you that want to go with one of the best banks in San Diego that has a global footprint.

Wells Fargo is headquartered in San Francisco, California and was founded in 1852. They have over 8,500 locations and do business in 42 countries.

Wells Fargo San Diego Services at a Glance:

  • 13 locations in San Diego, California & surrounding areas
  • Cash back offer when opening a personal checking account
  • Student loans
  • Borrowing & credit services
  • Personal, small business, & commercial banking
  • No rating on Better Business Bureau

Highlights That Make Wells Fargo in San Diego Stand Out on Our List of Best San Diego Credit Unions and Banks

They’re One of the Biggest Banks in San Diego, CA

Today’s world has become more connected internationally than ever. If you want a local bank that can also help your business have the reach it needs internationally, then Wells Fargo San Diego is definitely one of the best banks in San Diego to open an account with. 

Retirement Planning Tools

Whether you’re starting retirement planning early, in your 20s, or just starting at 50 or 60, Wells Fargo is a San Diego bank with robust retirement packages for any stage of life.

Rating Summary

We’ve rated Wells Fargo a 3 due to the recent issues the company has had with false credit card accounts being opened. However, they are aggressively addressing this, so we anticipate a higher score in the future.


Conclusion –Top 8 Best Banks & Credit Unions in San Diego, California

San Diegans have nothing but great choices when it comes to finding the best credit unions and best banks in San Diego to trust with their money and investments. And from the largest global banks to smaller community ones, many have won local or national awards.

We hope that our Top 8 Best San Diego Credit Unions and Banks Ranking has helped narrow your choices, and has given you plenty of great banking options to consider in the future.


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