Dedicated to Deposits: Deals, Data, and Discussion

1.75% Reward Checking Account at a Colorado CU (Air Academy)

POSTED ON BY

Air Academy Federal Credit Union
Update 11/28/09: The top rate is scheduled to drop to 1.75% APY effective December 1, 2009. See bottom of the post for the rate history.

Air Academy Federal Credit Union is offering a reward checking account it calls Max Checking. It pays 1.75% APY for balances up to $50K (0.51% for over) and refunds ATM (up to $25/mo) if the following monthly requirements are met: 1) 12 Check Card signature-based transactions, 2) One direct deposit or ACH Auto Debit, and 3) Receive Electronic Statements. If these are not met, the rate falls to 0.15%. There are no monthly service charges regardless of meeting the above requirements.

Membership is open to all military (active and retired) and their family members. Employees, students and their families of several Colorado school districts are also eligible to join. Please refer to the credit union's eligibility page for more details. There's an online application which allows you to join and open accounts. Membership requires a minimum deposit of $5 into your share savings account.

Update 4/04/08: I've been informed by the credit union of a mistake in their online application which stated that members of the USAFA Association of Gradutes were eligible to join the credit union. Customer service reps who claimed this were also apparently wrong. Here is what the credit union rep stated:
Only employees and employees' families of the USAFA Association of Graduates are eligible to join AAFCU at this time. There are many other ways to join AAFCU and we serve members around the globe. Visit www.aafcu.com and click on membership for details.

Update 11/06/07: A reader just informed me of another way to qualify for membership. Members of the USAFA Association of Graduates are eligible to join. (see above) This qualification is listed in the online application under military. Anyone can join this association for $50.

Branches are located in Colorado Springs, Castle Rock, Elizabeth, Fountain, Highlands Ranch, Monument and Parker, Colorado. The credit union is federally insured by the NCUA (Charter # 10600). It has $306.8 million in assets and 44,909 members.

Other Reward Checking Accounts

For other reward checking accounts in other parts of the country, please see my reward checking account page and my best checking account post.

Rate History:
12/01/09: 1.75% APY up to $50K; 0.51% over
10/01/09: 2.75% APY up to $50K
06/01/09: 3.50% APY up to $50K; 1.01% over; 0.15% base rate
05/03/09: 3.50% APY
11/01/08: 4.07% APY
06/01/08: 4.50% APY
10/30/07: 6.01% APY up to $50K; 1.01% over; 0.25% base rate

Edit 2/10/09: Added signature-based to the debit card transaction requirement
  Tags: Colorado, Air Academy Federal Credit Union, checking account, reward checking account

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Comments
17 comments.
Comment #1 by Anonymous posted on
Anonymous
Fitchburg Savings Bank in Massachusetts has an account like Rewards Checking called All-In-One Checking. It pays 6.01% on balances up to $100,000 (higher than most banks' limits) and over 3% for balances over $100,000. Go to www.fsbfsb.com for more info.

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Comment #2 by Anonymous posted on
Anonymous
I just called Fitchburg Bank. Unfortunately, you have to live within 50 miles of their branches. They would not open an account for me by email, phone, fax, etc.

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Comment #3 by Banking Guy (anonymous) posted on
Banking Guy
Thanks for checking on this. I had posted on Fitchburg in November, but I didn't have the details about account opening requirements. I've just updated that post.

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Comment #4 by Air Academy FCU (anonymous) posted on
Air Academy FCU
Hello,

I am an employee at Air Academy Federal Credit Union (AAFCU). I would like to clear up a misconception. Only employees and employees' families of the USAFA Association of Graduates are eligible to join AAFCU at this time. There are many other ways to join AAFCU and we serve members around the globe. Visit www.aafcu.com and click on membership for details.

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Comment #5 by Banking Guy (anonymous) posted on
Banking Guy
I just called the AAFCU at (800) 223-1983, and I asked a service rep if the following eligibility option in the online application is correct or not:

"I am a member of the USAFA Association of Graduates"

The service rep said this is correct, and it is not limited to just employees and employees' families. If the service rep is wrong, please email me at bankdeals@gmail.com so I can confirm this.

Also, I would recommend correcting the online membership application so it states "employees of" instead of "members of".

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Comment #6 by Air Academy Federal Credit Union (anonymous) posted on
Air Academy Federal Credit Union
Hello, (same AAFCU employee here)

My original comment is correct, at this time you must be an employee or family of an employee of the USAFA Association of Graduates. We are in the process of correcting our online account opening website--thank you for bringing this to our attention. I have also sent out a general email all our staff to clear up any confusion.

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Comment #7 by Anonymous posted on
Anonymous
A question for the AAFCU employee who posted earlier today (4/4/08) -

First of all, thanks for your help and comments - it’s always useful on these blogs to get information from the people who actually work at the financial institutions.

As of right now (4/4/08) the AAFCU website says -

Who Is Eligible to Join?

• Anyone who is a family member of someone who is already a member of Air Academy FCU.
• Anyone who is a family member of someone who is eligible to join but may not presently be a member.
• All military (active & retired) and their family members.
• Employees, students, and their families in ten area school districts (Academy School District 20, Cheyenne Mountain School District 12, Colorado Springs School District 11, Douglas County School District RE-1, Elbert School District 200, Elizabeth School District C-1, Falcon School District 49, Fountain/Ft. Carson School District #8, Kiowa School District C-2, Lewis-Palmer School District 38).
• Anyone who is an employee or family of our list of Select Employee Groups .

My question is, are we safe in assuming that current members who joined under these eligibility standard commitments (which I understand AAFCU has presented on its website for some time) are still considered, and will continue to be in the future, AAFCU members? In particular, my guess would be that many current members joined under the AAFCU eligibility standard commitment that states -

All military (active & retired) and their family members.

It would be comforting to have AAFCU assurance that those who joined in good faith under this eligibility standard will be considered members in the future.

Thank you.

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Comment #8 by Anonymous posted on
Anonymous
The rate has been cut to 4.5% starting 6/1/08, still for the 1st $50K. The terms remain the same.

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Comment #9 by Roger (anonymous) posted on
Roger
Rate to be cut to 4.07% APY starting November 1st.

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Comment #10 by Anonymous posted on
Anonymous
Not sure there is still the same demand to join this credit union with the rate cut, but here is another organization anyone can join:
http://www.elizabethchamber.org/levelsM.htm

The website specifically states that *members* of the Elizabeth Chamber of Commerce may join the credit union.

The cost of membership is $50 ($25 for seniors).

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Comment #11 by Anonymous posted on
Anonymous
Please clarify item #1: "12signature-based check card transactions."

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Comment #12 by Anonymous posted on
Anonymous
AAFCU MAAXIMUM checking rate dropping to 3.5% from May 1st, 2009.

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Comment #13 by Anonymous posted on
Anonymous
MAAXIMUM Checking Rate is 3.45% and Yield is 3.50%.

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Comment #14 by Roger (anonymous) posted on
Roger
I Just was looking at my May statement, and it shows that I received 3.93% APY for the month - although I did receive the e-mail notification in mid-April stating that the rate was changing to 3.5%, and the web site does show 3.5%. Anyone else notice this? Was it a mistake?

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Comment #15 by Anonymous posted on
Anonymous
Dear Member:

Effective October 1, 2009, the new rate for MAAXIMUM Checking* on balances up to $50,000 will be 2.75% APY**......

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Comment #16 by Anonymous posted on
Anonymous
I got the notice as well when I logged into my account. And go figure - this month I'd been particularly industrious and had completed all my October requirements already! Why couldn't they be more like Alliant CU and give at least a few days fair warning before enacting the cut? Oh well....

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Comment #17 by Anonymous posted on
Anonymous
1.75% now.

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