Palmetto Health Credit Union review: Minority-led credit union with no monthly service fees

By Laura Grace Tarpley, CEPF

Palmetto Health Credit Union Review 2x1
Palmetto Health Credit Union is in South Carolina.
Palmetto Health Credit Union; Alyssa Powell/Insider

You must open a Palmetto Health Credit Union Savings Account to become a member of the credit union. It's a good savings account overall with a $5 opening deposit and no monthly service fees. The interest rate is a little higher than what you'll earn with most brick-and-mortar institutions, but you can earn a better rate with an online savings account.

Palmetto Health Checking is an affordable checking account with no minimum opening deposit and no monthly service fee. The main down side is that there's no free overdraft protection. You'll either tap into a line of credit that charges interest, or pay $2 to transfer money from savings into checking.

Palmetto Health Credit Union pays high interest rates on certificates, especially compared to other brick-and-mortar institutions. The $500 minimum deposit is also pretty low.

Palmetto Health Credit Union is a minority-led credit union in South Carolina. There are three branches in Columbia and one branch in Easley.

The credit union has eight ATMs in Columbia and Easley. You can also use 30,000 free ATMs around the US in the CO-OP Shared Branch Network.

The Palmetto Health mobile app has 4.9 out of 5 stars in the Apple store, and 4.8 out of 5 stars in the Google Play store.

To speak with a representative, call or visit a branch from 8:30 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. ET, Monday through Friday.

Your deposits are federally insured by the NCUA for up to $250,000, or up to $500,000 for joint accounts.

To bank with Palmetto Health Credit Union, you'll need to become a member. You can join if you meet any one of the following criteria:

  • Live, work, or study in Richland County
  • Be an immediate family member of someone who lives, works, or studies in Richland County
  • Are a Prisma Health worker
  • Are a worker of a medical center affiliated with Prisma Health, or a center on a Prisma Health campus
  • Have a family member who is a Prisma Health employee
  • Have a family member who is a Palmetto Health Credit Union member

You also must open a Palmetto Health Credit Union Savings Account with $5 and pay the $5 membership fee.

The Better Business Bureau gives Palmetto Health Credit Union an A+ in trustworthiness. A strong BBB grade indicates a company responds effectively to customer complaints, advertises honestly, and is transparent about business practices.

A good BBB score doesn't guarantee you'll have a smooth relationship with a company, though. You may still want to read online reviews or talk to friends or family members about their experiences with Palmetto Health.

Palmetto Health doesn't have any public controversies, so you may decide you're comfortable banking with this credit union.

Palmetto Health Credit Union is mainly in Columbia, so we've compared it to two Black-owned institutions you can access in Columbia: Optus Bank and OneUnited Bank.

Palmetto Health Credit Union vs. Optus Bank

Optus Bank is a bank, not a credit union, so you don't have to qualify for membership to bank with the company. If you're ineligible to join Palmetto Health Credit Union, Optus is the clear choice.

Palmetto Health is the more convenient option, though. It has three branches in Columbia and one in Easley, whereas Optus has just one branch in Columbia. Palmetto Health is also part of a shared ATM network so you can use 30,000 ATMs around the country for free. Optus has just three ATMs in Columbia.

Palmetto Health Credit Union vs. OneUnited Bank

OneUnited doesn't have any branches in South Carolina, but you can open accounts online from anywhere in the US. You may prefer OneUnited if you're comfortable banking online, especially if you don't qualify for Palmetto Health Credit Union membership.

Laura Grace Tarpley is the editor of banking and mortgages at Personal Finance Insider, covering mortgages, refinancing, bank accounts, and bank reviews. She is also a Certified Educator in Personal Finance (CEPF). Over her four years of covering personal finance, she has written extensively about ways to save, invest, and navigate loans.