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.
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.
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