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August 25, 2008


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The idea behind this account is for you to use their e-statments (saves them money), direct deposit (saves them money), and using a debit card (makes them money from the merchant). My account dictates using the debit card at leas 10 times each month.

Community Bank of NV is offering 4.5% on checking if you:

• enroll in direct deposit
• sign up for e-statements
• make one online bill pay
• use your debit card for 10 transactions

A local bank here has been offering something similar for a few months. It is 4.25% APY on balances up to $25,000.

* No minimum balance required
* No monthly service charge
* Unlimited check writing
* Free bill pay
* Up to $6 in ATM reimbursements on other bank's ATM fees
* No charge from The Bank for using other bank's ATMs
* Identity & Fraud Protection Plus available

Criteria (must be met each statement cycle to receive rewards)

* 10 Debit Card purchases posted
* 1 Direct Deposit or 2 ACH Debits
* 1 Online Bank inquiry
* E-statement

Same here, I had an offer for 5.5%, but I had to use my debit card at least 15 times in a month. Since I use a rewards credit card, I would not get 15 transactions per month on debit, so I passed on the deal.

Have you tried calling the credit union and asking for a special deal? As in, their current offer w/no cap? I've had some luck negotiating with a local bank to get the deal that I wanted from them a year or three back.

My wife has one of these accounts with a local credit union. They required the 10 transactions a month on the debit card. While that doesn't seem like a lot, if you don't use the debit card frequently then it can be hard to do. And the "gotcha" we ran into is that if you miss one of the requirements then you get 0% interest for that month. Plus the credit unit started with a higher rate like 6% then dropped it down to 4% or so later. Overall the hassle wasn't worth it for her so we are using our Wamu account with 3.7% interest primarily now.

It would probably be a great deal for some people especially if they are sure they'd use the debit card frequently enough.


Oh.. and my wife's account had a fairly high cap around $25k or something if I recall right.

You said
"I currently have a boatload of cash earning barely anything as I wait to buy a new home."

My husband and I are also agressively saving right now to buy a new home and have 75k right now sitting in savings. It didn't used to be so bad when my savings was paying 5.5% last year but now I am getting 2.5% and it is killing me. What are your feelings on the fact that it will take me 2 more years to buy a home and inflation is eating my money?

One local CU startup up with 6% checking last summer. My own CU ( / responded with 7%. You have to do e-statements (no brainer), have at least one direct deposit or other incoming ACH (my paycheck goes into there anyway, so I never checked to see if there was a minimum $ amount), and you have to make 10 debit card purchases per month.

We use a rewards credit card, too, but I make sure we get the required 10 tx, and make them on small things--lunch at Subway, or the like. All the big stuff goes on the rewards card.

I've been waiting for the 7% rate to drop, but in fact they've put up a couple new billboards recently advertising it. Since then, a local bank (not a CU) has started 6% checking, too. They must really be hurting for deposits.

I could take money out on my HELOC from the same CU at 5% and just let it sit in my checking account, and be money ahead. But I'm not crazy about the idea of having lots of money in an account where I have to use my debit card.

I am earning $25/month or so on my regular checking account, which isn't a bad deal.

JEM --

What are the alternatives? If you need the money rather quickly, your options are limited.

I know, I was just hoping you had some wisdom I had not thought of, many of my friends believe I am being foolish but they do not have better ideas ether.

FMF: Anything wrong with sticking it in a CD?

Noah --

What if I need it in a month?

CD's aren't even offering good interest right now anyway.

That deal is right up my alley; thanks for sharing it. Right now I'm only earning about 2% on my checking account, and I usually keep a balance less than $2000.
P.S. I've found movie crowds tough to deal with too. More extroverted people really seem to like the excitement of opening weekend.

I use Alliant Credit Union. Their savings account pays 3.75% APY and CD's are 3.90% and no restrictions.

FMF: I'm from GR and my wife and I both have $2000 accounts at Community West. We also have a max checking account at Lake Michigan Credit Union which yields 5% on up to $15K. I keep a pretty close eye on both local and national interest rates and by far the best deals out there right now are on rewards checking accounts.

We plan on switching over to rewards checking accounts at MidWest America Federal Credit Union which pays 7% on up to $25k. They're out of state, and you need to be local to join, but there's a loophole: you can join if you're a member of their local Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals, which is a one-time cost of $25, and it doesn't matter where you live. The extra 2% interest on an account of just $15k will pay for the cost of that membership fee in just one month. Details here:

FMF: One more thing-- I've been very happy with Lake Michigan Credit Union if you're looking for something local with a higher balance cap. Also, there's a credit union in Holland, Michigan called United Federal Credit Union which does 6% on up to $25k.

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