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Do You Use a Rewards Checking Account?

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 [1], the overall package is no longer competitive.

Time to go shopping for a new bank.

I’m considering Consumers Credit Union [2] 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 [3] 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 [4]. 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?



By the Numbers

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