Do You Use a Rewards Checking Account?

Posted by Madison on September 15, 2011

I’m on the hunt for a new checking account. Our primary checking account is currently at Schwab. But over time, the interest rate has dropped, and now that they abandoned the 2% credit card, the overall package is no longer competitive.

Time to go shopping for a new bank.

I’m considering Consumers Credit Union which offers a 4.09% APY on their rewards checking up to $10,000. There is no minimum balance, no fees, and they refund ATM withdrawals.

Rewards Checking Account

While I’ve never had a rewards checking account, I am considering it since the rate beats most high yield accounts right now. As with most of the rewards checking accounts, they do have the debit card purchase minimums and other monthly requirements:

  • Complete at least 12 Debit/Check Card Point-of-Sale purchases (transactions must be made without using your Personal Identification Number, or PIN, to count towards the minimum of 12 and must post and clear your account on or before the last day of the calendar month)
  • Each calendar month, one direct deposit OR one ACH debit OR pay one bill when using Consumers Credit Union’s free online bill payment system, must post and clear your account on or before the last day of the calendar month
  • Access Online Banking at least once each calendar month
  • Receive Electronic Statements (enroll and accept the disclosure)

But the good news is that if you don’t meet the minimums, you just get a lower interest rate (.05% APY) and no ATM refunds, but not any extra fees. So the months where we don’t keep much in our checking account, we can just skip the required transactions.

Referral Bonus

I’m considering giving it a try. And the good news is that there’s a $50 referral bonus. If anyone has an account at Consumers Credit Union and wants to send me your referral, I’ll use the first one I get.

Do you use a rewards checking account? If so, what strategies do you use to meet the minimum number of transactions?



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Comments to Do You Use a Rewards Checking Account?

  1. Madison,

    I recently opened a rewards checking account at CCU. If you haven’t had any prior offers, I would like to refer you.


  2. This is one of the reasons so many reward checking account rates drop. Too many people sign up all at once…


  3. Madison,
    I use a rewards checking account that pays 3.01% up to 30 grand. Even though the rate is lower than what at CCU, it pays for a much larger amount and that is what tilts in its favor. Also the minimum debit card transactions per month is 10 and not 12. Email me if you want details.


  4. I’m looking for a Consumer Credit Union member for a referral as well.

    Sounds like a great opportunity


  5. I have a rewards checking account that (similarly) pays 4% interest on balances up to $10 grand, and also requires 12 debit transactions totaling a minimum of $100 per month. I easily meet the minimum number of transactions by using the card for small everyday transactions most people use cash for, plus grocery shopping. For any larger transactions, I stick to my credit cards for the frequent flier miles and cash back. It works pretty well – I’ve had the account almost a year now and have received the 4% interest rate every month.


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