RANKING & REVIEWS
TOP RANKING SAN JOSE CREDIT UNIONS AND BANKS
Rating of the 6 Best Credit Unions and Banks in San Jose, California (Plus 2 You’ll Want to Avoid)
Most people consider San Jose, CA the heart and soul of Silicon Valley. It’s the largest city in Northern California, with an estimated population of just over one million. This area is also noted for a high cost of living, which makes finding the top San Jose banks a high priority for many.
When you live and work in a city with the 3rd highest GDP per capita in the world, the San Jose credit union or bank you choose for loans, savings, and investments can make a big difference in how fast you reach your financial goals.
Award Emblem: Top 6 Best Credit Unions and Banks in San Jose, CA
For our top 6 list, we’ve searched for both the 3 best banks in San Jose, California and the 3 best credit unions in San Jose to bring you some great choices to consider. As a bonus, we’ll also reveal which 2 banks you’ll want to steer clear of for the time being.
Included are large institutions like Bank of America San Jose, and more local homegrown options like Technology Credit Union and Santa Clara Credit Union.
Let’s get started with a summary of our ranking, then we’ll touch on what to consider when looking for the best banks or credit unions in San Jose, CA, and give a detailed review of each San Jose credit unions and banks on our 2018 Ranking.
Top 6 Best Credit Unions and Banks in San Jose, CA (and 2 to Avoid) | Brief Comparison & Ranking
Banks & Credit Unions in San Jose, California
|Bank of America|
|Meriwest Credit Union|
|Technology Credit Union|
|Bank of the West|
|Santa Clara County Federal Credit Union|
Table: Top 6 San Jose Banks & Credit Unions (& 2 to Avoid) | Above list is sorted by rating
Banks in San Jose, CA FAQ | What To Consider When Looking for a San Jose Credit Union or Bank?
An incredibly low auto loan rate might catch your eye when looking for the best bank or best credit union in San Jose, California, but you should look a bit deeper before choosing who to trust with your money.
Here are a few things to consider before you sign on the dotted line with either a bank in San Jose or a not-for-profit San Jose credit union:
- Membership requirements (if choosing a credit union in San Jose)
- Online and mobile banking apps, and their ratings
- Account and service fees
- Branch and ATM locations
- Customer service reputation
- Minimum balance requirements
- Perks like rewards credit cards
- Loan and savings account interest rates
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 San Jose Banks & Credit Unions (Plus 2 to Avoid)
Below, please find a detailed review of each firm on our list of top credit unions and banks San Jose, CA offers. We have highlighted some of the factors that allowed these San Jose, California banks & credit unions 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.
- Bank of America
- Union Bank
- Bank of the West
- Meriwest Credit Union
- Santa Clara County Federal Credit Union
- Technology Credit Union
- Cathay Bank
- Umpqua Bank
Bank of America Review
Many in Silicon Valley like to bank with a financial institution that has a global reach and makes it easy to do business internationally. Bank of America in San Jose operates in over 35 countries around the world. They are also one of the San Jose, CA banks with the most branch locations in the area.
Below are the highlights that make Bank of America San Jose stand out on this 2018 Ranking of Best Credit Unions and Banks in San Jose.
Bank of America Services at a Glance:
- 34 branch locations in San Jose, California & surrounding areas
- BankAmerica rewards & cash back offers
- Mortgages & home loan assistance programs
- Personal, Business, & Student bank accounts
- Investments with Merrill Edge
- Better Business Bureau A- rating
Global Commercial Banking
The world has become more accessible than ever for selling your goods and services. Bank of America San Jose is one of the best banks in San Jose, California to use for their robust global commercial banking that includes lending, debt and equity underwriting, and much more.
Rewards Credit & Debit Cards
Do you like earning cash back or travel rewards just for shopping? It’s hard to find more choices for credit or debit cards rewards programs at any other bank in San Jose. Choose from travel rewards, low interest, and even cards designed to build or re-build your credit.
Bank of America earned a 5 rating as one of the best banks in San Jose, CA. One of the factors that earned them a perfect score was their large global reach that makes it easy for a local company to expand fast with the banking support they need for growth.
Another reason we feel this is one of the top banks in San Jose, CA is that their size allows them to offer multiple investment products. Their coordination with Merrill Lynch brings a powerful set of investing resources you can’t find anywhere else.
Don’t Miss: Anchor Bank Ranking & Review
Meriwest Credit Union Review
We started with one of the top San Jose banks, so it’s time to introduce one of the best credit unions in San Jose, California. Meriwest Credit Union began its life in 1961 as IBM San Jose Employees Federal Credit Union. Membership is now available to anyone that lives and/or works in the Greater Bay Area of Northern California or in Tucson, Arizona.
Below are the highlights that make Meriwest Credit Union stand out on our 2018 Ranking of Best Credit Unions and Banks in San Jose.
Meriwest Credit Union in San Jose Services at a Glance:
- 12 branch locations in San Jose, California & surrounding areas
- Multiple credit card options
- Business banking & merchant services
- Wealth management advisors
- Home, auto, life, & health insurance
- Better Business Bureau A+ rating
Personal Banking Tools
Wondering how to move your accounts to Meriwest? Their Smart Move Toolkit gives you everything you need. Want to know how their loan rates stack up next to another San Jose credit unions and banks? The answers are conveniently located in the Personal Banking Tools and Rates section on their website.
Insurance and Protection Products
You can do more than just open a checking or savings account at this San Jose credit union. They offer a variety of different insurance policies like auto, home, health, and even debt and identity theft protection.
We rated Meriwest Credit Union a 5 on our Ranking of the Best Banks and Credit Unions in San Jose, California. They are one of the credit unions in San Jose that try to give their members a “one stop shop” for all their financial needs, and also cater to both personal and business banking.
Another thing to note is that this is one of the San Jose credit unions that has consistently high ratings of 4+ on multiple ratings websites, like WalletHub and Glassdoor. Customers mention their fast and thorough customer service as a reason they stay with them.
Technology Credit Union Review
The uniqueness of Silicon Valley is in the DNA of this next San Jose credit union because they were founded there. Technology Credit Union was started by entrepreneurs and future technology leaders nearly 60 years ago and now is over 90,000 members strong.
Below are the highlights that make Technology Credit Union stand out on AdvisoryHQ’s 2018 Ranking of Best Credit Unions and Banks in San Jose.
Technology Credit Union in San Jose Services at a Glance:
- 11 branch locations in San Jose, California & surrounding areas
- Free credit score monitoring
- Living trusts & estate planning
- Personal & family banking
- Loans & lines of credit
- Better Business Bureau A rating
They Serve Tech’s Hottest Companies
Looking for the same San Jose credit union that employees of Facebook can use? You’ve got it with Technology Credit Union. Their members include employees from Silicon Valley’s top companies, such as eBay, Siemens, Seagate, and Facebook too.
Multiple Savings Options
If you want to build that nest egg, then this is one of the best credit unions in San Jose, California for multiple options. You can put money away for retirement or a rainy day with a standard savings account, money market account, CD, IRA, or a Health Savings Account.
We gave Technology Credit Union a 5 rating as one of the top San Jose credit unions. You can’t serve the biggest companies in Silicon Valley without having excellent customer service and great online & mobile banking.
Reviewers on sites like Yelp note that they’re made to feel special as soon as they walk through the door. Their low loan rates, which can be lower than some banks in San Jose, CA have, are also a huge plus.
They’re also one of the credit unions in San Jose where it’s easy to become a member. Just live, work, worship, or attend school in Santa Clara, San Mateo, Alameda, Contra Costa, Santa Cruz, or San Francisco counties or be employed by a [email protected] company.
Union Bank Review
If you’re looking for another San Jose bank with a global reach, then you may want to take a look at Union Bank. They’re a member of a world-leading financial group, Mitsubishi UFJ Financial Group Inc. The company does business in nearly 50 countries and has 2,300 offices around the world.
Below are the highlights that make Union Bank stand out on this 2018 Ranking Best Credit Unions and Banks in San Jose.
Union Bank Services at a Glance:
- 12 branch locations in San Jose, California & surrounding areas
- Online & mobile banking
- Insurance products through UnionBanc Insurance Service
- Loans & personal lines of credit
- Investment & retirement planning
- Better Business Bureau A+ rating
Small Business Services
Besides saving over $1,000 when you open a new Merchant Services account, you also have tons of other small business resources. This is one of the San Jose, CA banks that offers business financing, EMV and Chip card readers, and a Small Business Resource Center.
Security is Important
Looking for San Jose banks that take security seriously? Then Union Bank will be the one you’ll want to consider. They employ a number of security measures, including firewalls and special inks on checks. They also offer free website security software for download.
Union Bank earns a 5 rating as one of the best San Jose Banks. They have enough locations to make banking with them in the San Jose, CA area convenient, and they provide their clients with multiple security and fraud prevention tools that give you peace of mind.
Our only suggestion would be to possibly update their website a bit. Having said that, it’s still easy to navigate and gets you where you want to go. Their employees say good things about this San Jose Bank as well, which is an excellent sign for anyone considering Union Bank.
Read More: Capital One (Ranking & Review)
Bank of the West Review
Bank of the West is one of the homegrown banks in San Jose, CA. They’ve been serving the area since 1874, when they began as Farmers National Gold Bank. Since then, they’ve branched out considerably and are affiliated with one of the leading European banks, BNP Paribas.
Below are the highlights that make Bank of the West stand out on our 2018 Best Credit Unions and Banks in San Jose publication.
Bank of the West Services at a Glance:
- 19 branch locations in San Jose, California & surrounding areas
- Personal checking & savings account choices
- Home, car, & RV loans
- Investment accounts
- Small business & commercial banking
- Better Business Bureau A+ rating
A Community Bank with a Big Reach
Bank of the West has never forgotten their community roots. This is one of the San Jose, California banks where you can feel like you’re banking with a smaller institution, even through they have nearly 600 branches in 23 U.S. states and a presence in 74 countries.
Online Protection Guarantee
In an age of personal information getting hacked, it’s nice to have a bank in San Jose, CA that backs up their commitment to security with an Online Guarantee. They also use state-of-the-art measures to ensure online privacy and security.
We rated Bank of the West a very high 3 on our Ranking of Top San Jose, CA Banks and Credit Unions. The only thing that held us up from giving a higher score, was a few mixed reviews on sites such as WalletHub and ConsumerAffairs.
They are an excellent example of a San Jose bank that still has award-winning customer service while growing to serve a large part of the U.S. plus international connections. They truly exemplify their “local bank with global connections” tagline.
Related: Centennial Bank (Ranking & Review)
Santa Clara County Federal Credit Union Review
Santa Clara County Federal Credit Union, also known as Santa Clara Credit Union or County Federal for short, has been serving members for over 65 years. They were first established in San Jose in 1950. To join, you need to be connected to one of their corporate partners or charitable organizations.
Below are the highlights that make Santa Clara Credit Union stand out on this 2018 Ranking of Best Credit Unions and Banks in San Jose.
Santa Clara County Federal Credit Union Services at a Glance:
- 18 branch locations in San Jose, California & surrounding areas
- Checking, savings & retirement accounts
- Earn cash for referring a member
- Loans & credit cards
- Auto, home & life insurance
- Better Business Bureau A+ rating
One of the great things about homegrown banks and credit unions in San Jose is that they are often big supporters of their community. Santa Clara Credit Union reaches out through things like educational scholarships, back-to-school supply drives, and other charitable outreach events.
Car Buying Services
If you’re looking to buy a car, this is one of the credit unions in San Jose, CA that makes it as easy as possible. They offer a loan rate calculator, a free car buying service through Car Connection, and vehicle loans at rates as low as 2.49% APR.
Santa Clara County Federal Credit Union offers several great services to their members. We ranked them a 3 on our best credit union in San Jose list because they have membership requirements that are more stringent than several other credit unions in San Jose or other cities.
With 18 locations in the area, they are a San Jose credit union that is convenient to visit. Their membership discounts and referral rewards are a nice perk as well. If Santa Clara Credit Union made membership eligibility a little easier, they could easily increase their rating.
Cathay Bank Review
Next, we are going to reveal one of those banks in San Jose, CA that we recommend you avoid, at least until they improve upon a few things. Cathay Bank began in 1962 in the Los Angeles area and is focused on serving the Chinese-American community.
Below are some of the improvements we feel would help Cathay Bank move up on this 2018 Ranking of Best San Jose Credit Unions and Banks.
With just 6 locations in San Jose and the surrounding area, it’s not the most convenient bank in San Jose to visit. Adding a few more locations would help them service this area better.
Improve Online Reputation
They’ve got no rating at the Better Business Bureau, which they could easily remedy by becoming an accredited BBB business. Some other review complaints via Yelp include poor customer service and difficult to use safety deposit boxes.
Unfortunately, Cathay Bank was rated just 1, since they are currently one of our “San Jose banks to avoid”. However, we do see them trying to improve by beginning to respond to negative reviews, which is a good sign.
This is one of the San Jose, CA banks that has a presence in Hong Kong, Shanghai, and Taipei. By serving a growing Chinese-American population, they set themselves apart from other banks in the San Jose area. Improving on the things noted above could help their ranking in the future.
Popular Article: First Volunteer Bank Ranking & Review
Umpqua Bank Review
Now, for the second bank in San Jose, California that we recommend you avoid until they up their game in a few areas. Umpqua Bank has just one location in San Jose, with the next closest about 40 miles away in Walnut Creek, CA.
Below are some of the improvements we feel would help Umpqua Bank move up on this 2018 Ranking of Best Banks & Credit Unions in San Jose, CA.
Improve Better Business Bureau Rating
This is one of the banks in San Jose, California with a pretty poor D- rating at the Better Business Bureau. They have 13 negative reviews and zero positive or neutral reviews. It’s also noted that there is a failure to respond to 4 complaints.
Overhaul Customer Service
Whether people have a loan with Umpqua or are dealing with a checking account issue, this is one of the San Jose banks where people feel they’re not treated well. Shoddy customer service comes up multiple times in customer reviews.
We had to score this bank in San Jose, CA a 1 with a warning to avoid until they improve. They look to offer many of the same banking products as more popular San Jose banks, but their customer service and reputation issues are a big warning sign.
If they put some effort on overhauling their customer service in all divisions, they could go a long way toward increasing their BBB rating. This would also positively impact their reputation and help them become one of the San Jose, California banks that people want to do business with.
Conclusion – Top 6 San Jose Banks & Credit Unions (& 2 to Avoid)
Whether you like to bank big and internationally or are looking for a hometown feel when you walk in, one of the top San Joe credit unions or banks on our list should be a perfect fit for your lifestyle.
Being located in Silicon Valley along with some of the top technology companies in the world, has driven these San Jose banks and credit unions to provide the very best in service and security. If you live in the area, you can definitely benefit from that.
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