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October 04, 2011


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Sounds like you and I are at the same credit union-- LMCU :)

I switched for the same reason you did, and I love how easy they make it to track if you've met the requirements each month.

They don't hold my checks when I make a teller deposit-- my old bank would hold them one day.

No annoying phone calls from the branch, mailed information from the credit union isn't excessive, good online capability. I couldn't be happier!

Megan --


I have a high-interest, 3%, checking account at a local bank in the Dallas area. 3% is up to $30k in deposits. Not as good as it was 6 months ago - 4% up to $50k. Similar requirements to get the high interest - 10 debit charges/mo, estatements, and 1 direct deposit or automatic withdrawal (electric bill).

Are you able to open more than one account? The bank where I have a rewards checking account lets you have as many as you like, as long as you meet the requirements each month. So I have my personal account and a wedding fund account. I use my cards to make 12 $1.01 payments towards my cable bill each month and that satisfies the requirement for debit card purchases. I also have noticed that they treat ACH transfers as "direct deposits", so even if I wasn't using it as my main account it would still work!

My rewards are only 3%, but you can have up to $25,000 in each account.

Mine is just 2% upto 25k. I do need qualify for it with direct deposit, 12 debit card transactions, and estatements each month to earn this higher rate.

Outstanding FMF!! I'm a huge fan of credit unions! I joined quite a few years back and have been extremely happy with my CU. I can't imagine why anyone would want to bank anywhere else! I'm shocked at the great rate they are giving you. Our credit union gives us 7% but that's only on the first $500 of the balance, then it drops to the measly std rates. That being said, we are still actually making interest each month which is a far cry from all the commercial bank customers who are now paying monthly fees. (We have zero monthly fees at our credit union)

LMCU is awesome. My favorite part, no deposit slips to fill out.

I closed my BOA account and haven't looked back.

My wife has had such a rewards account with a local credit union for a while. They're a great idea in general.

The one problem she has encountered is that sometimes she doesn't get all 10 debit transactions done. If you fail to do all 10 in a month then you lose the interest for that month. Its not a giant hassle to do it but sometimes she just gets busy or doesn't find the time, etc. So a key for these accounts is making sure you do those debit transactions. I think most of these accounts are similar in that they'll not pay the interest for a month if you fail to meet all the conditions.

That is so awesome FMF! Some of these comments about having additional account open really makes me think ;) You all can be really creative; I always learn something new haha! BTW I LOVE THE NEW BACKGROUND on the website FMF!!!! Very nice!!!!

A local bank has a 2.3% rate on their checking, with requirements similar to your CU. I haven't made the switch yet, but I would if the rate was 4%!

Nate --

Thanks! More to come. ;-)

Smart move! I'm going to check my credit union offer ASAP.

My credit union only pays 0.8% on savings and 0.25% on checking accounts but I have been a member since 1960 so it wouldn't be worth changing even if there was another one nearby that had better rates - which there isn't. Our checking accounts fluctuate between about $300 and $1,500, and we use our savings accounts for our monthly SS and Pension direct deposits and emergency funds. The only freebie that I have is their Bill Pay system which I have grown to like very much.

As much as I like to make money I feel that you have to take into account how much trouble is involved in changing longtime habits and whether the amount you stand to gain is worth the extra hassle, especially at the age of 77.

Mike --

That is a GREAT idea!!!! I may have to try it!

Well tell us about it when you do!...

I love these type of accounts. I have two with two different small banks (one in NJ and one in Ohio). They both provide great service and the limit is $25K on each account to earn the interest. The interest has dropped from 4 to 2% but still a great deal.

Within months, they will drop the rate at least 1%. It's the MO these days for all banks and CU's. You just did a lot of work for a teaser rate.

I have two of these accounts. Both started out at near 4% interest but then dropped down. One dropped down gradually to 2.5% and the second one (a credit union) which I have not had that long ,dropped the 4% after only one month and is now at 2%.

I have to carefully track all the debits to make sure I get them done within the cycle time (10 for one, 12 for the other). I just lost out on the higher interest this month for the credit union because I only made 11 debits. Some of the debits I made near the end of the cycle did not get credited in time (will count next cycle). I got busy and lost track of the deadline. Best to try and get your debits made earlier in the cycle.

I have $25K in the 2.5% account and have 7K in the 2% account. I did have more in the 2% account but took out 10K to invest in I-bonds after reading about them on a coupld of finance blogs. I am also directing extra money to my Lending Club account. My ROI there is about 9%, but of course, there are some risks in involved.

Yup, I have a local one too. Started off over 4% but now it is only half. That's the thing about these things...the rate isn't locked for very long.

What a deal! I didn't know any bank was paying that much interest on a checking account. I need to check into this! I live in the Phoenix area.

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