One of the most powerful ways we can use money is to align all manner of financial decisions with what matters to us most of all—our faith. That includes the types of products we buy, the manufacturers and retailers we chose to do business with, and also the financial institutions where we keep our money.
To be sure, all of this takes some time and effort. It isn’t the easy thing to do. But as stewards or managers of God’s resources, it certainly is the right thing to do.
How does your bank rate?
Think about your checking or savings account. Why did you choose the bank or other financial institution where you keep those accounts? Was it mostly because of the interest rates offered? A sign-up bonus? The convenience of its ATMs?
Now try this exercise. Do a search on the name of your bank and the words “fine” or even “scandal.” If you do that with some of the largest and most well-known banks, you’re likely to find many cases where the banks were fined hundreds of millions of dollars — in some cases, even billions of dollars — for everything from creating fake accounts for some of their customers and signing them up for services they never approved to “unsafe or unsound practices,” and from “unjust foreclosures or vehicle repossessions” to illegal trading and even money laundering.
There are even some instances of banks closing the accounts of Christian organizations.
If your bank has such a record, do you really want to continue doing business with it?
To further this point, Christian Community Credit Union (CCCU) recently conducted a national survey of over 1,000 Christians to see if they have considered switching banks in the past 12 months and why. What they discovered is very telling. In summary, over 30% of those surveyed have considered switching banks and a conflict with their Christian values is in the top three reasons why. Without question, there is a growing groundswell of Christian’s looking for an alternative.
You have a choice
“What’s is the alternative?” I’m glad you asked.
Consider these benefits from Christian Community Credit Union (CCCU):
- CCCU is a financial institution that shares your Christian values.
- With CCCU’s Cash Rewards Visa, the benefits include some of what you might expect from a credit card these days, such as unlimited 1.5% cash back and a $200 bonus after spending $750. But you’ll also find a benefit you won’t find with a typical credit card: every purchase made with the CCCU-issued card generates a donation to international and local mission projects—from Christian camps to disaster relief. Through this unique program, more than $6 million has been donated to Christian causes since 1995.
- CCCU offers free checking with a $200 sign-up bonus, and if you maintain a certain balance and use direct deposit, a CCCU checking account pays interest. You might expect those benefits. But here’s a benefit you won’t get anywhere else: using the debit card that comes with a CCCU checking account generates donations to Christian ministries.
- The money deposited with CCCU is reinvested in God’s Kingdom, whether helping Christian families buy homes or funding the expansion of Christian ministries.
- And CCCU offers great rates on everything from CDs to mortgages.
One of the biggest hesitations you may feel as you consider switching where you bank is the perceived difficulty in making the change. While it isn’t as easy as flipping a switch, it’s easier than you probably assume. This “Switch Kit” resource maps out the process in five simple steps.
A relationship you can feel good about
The starting point of biblical money management is recognizing that God owns everything and you are a steward or manager of all that He temporarily entrusts to your care. As you align more and more of your financial decisions with your faith, it only makes sense to do business with financial institutions that reflect your Christian values. That’s putting your money where your heart is.
Matt Bell is the author of Trusted: Preparing Your Kids for a Lifetime of God-Honoring Money Management. He speaks at churches and conferences throughout the country and writes the MattAboutMoney blog.
This article should not be considered legal, tax, or financial advice. You may wish to consult a tax or financial advisor about your individual financial situation.