Dedicated to Deposits: Deals, Data, and Discussion

High-Yield Reward Checking Account at First New England FCU

POSTED ON BY

First New England Federal Credit Union

Update 6/17/2010: There are now two top rates: 3.51% APY for Relationship Account members and 2.50% APY for general members. Both apply up to $15K. Please refer to the bottom of the post for the account history.

First New England Federal Credit Union is offering a reward checking that pays 2.50% APY on balances up to $15,000 (0.50% for over) and refunds ATM fees worldwide (up to $25 per cycle) if the following monthly requirements are met: 1) 12 debit card transactions, 2) one direct deposit or ACH auto debit, and 3) enroll in eServices. If these are not met, the rate falls to 0.10%. There is no minimum balance and no monthly service charge.

The credit union also offers a Platinum Rewards Checking for those with large savings and who don't want to worry about using the debit card. It pays 0.90% APY on balances from $40,000 to $50,000 when there's a monthly direct deposit of at least $500. Balances over $50,000 earn 0.25% APY. When the balance falls under $40,000 or if the direct deposit requirement is not met, the rate falls to 0.10%. There is no debit card requirement. Like the rewards checking, there is no monthly service charge. Update 6/17/10: A higher rate of 2.00% APY for $40K-$50K and 0.50% over is available for Relationship Account members.

Membership is open to Friends of the Lucy Robbins Welles Library. The online application allows you to select the option to join the Newington Friends of the Library. From the online application, it looks like you can pay the membership fee for this library association and fund your opening deposit through this application with an electronic funds transfer (see update below). The Rewards Checking is listed as one of the checking account options. The Share Savings Account is required for membership, and it has a minimum deposit of $10. For more details on credit union membership, please refer to their Who-Can-Join page.

Branches are located in the Connecticut cities of East Hartford, Vernon and Newington. The credit union is federally insured by the NCUA (Charter # 2601). It has $62.3 million in assets and 9,344 members.

Update 2/19/08: I confirmed with the credit union that this reward checking account can be opened online. They will need a signature card and a copy of your driver's license after the account is opened. According to the customer service rep, this can be done by mail.

Update 5/31/08: A reader has reported that the credit union will pay for joining the Friend of the Lucy Robbins Welles Library.

All you need to do is send the CU the library's one-page membership application along with the CU signature page. The CU's online application lets you print both of these.


The reader also noted the rewards checking account comes with free checks.

Other High Yield Reward Checking Accounts

Please see my reward checking overview for general information and a history of these reward checking accounts. For other reward checking accounts please see my list of reward checking accounts around the nation and the best checking account post.

Rate History:

06/01/10: 3.51% APY for up to $15K; 0.50% APY for above (Relationship members), 2.50% APY up to $15K; 0.50% APY for above (general members) / Platinum Reward: 2.00% APY for $40K-$50K, 0.50% over (Relationship members); 0.90% APY for $40K-$50K, 0.25% over (general members)

04/01/10: 3.10% APY for up to $15K
10/01/09: 4.10% APY for up to $15K, 0.50% APY for above / Platinum Reward 2.51%
06/01/09: 3.65% APY for up to $15K
05/01/09: 3.65% APY for up to $20K, 1.25% APY for above / Platinum Reward 2.50% $40K-$50K, 1.00% above
02/28/09: 4.15% APY for up to $20K, 2.00% APY for above / Platinum Reward 3.01% $40K-$50K, 1.51% above
05/30/08: 5.15% APY for up to $25K, 2.50% APY for above
01/15/08: 6.01% APY for up to $25K, 3.00% APY for above

Edit 3/03/09: Updated rewards checking URL. Added info on Platinum Rewards Checking.
Edit 1/02/09: Added rate history. Added note on worldwide ATM refunds.

  Tags: First New England Federal Credit Union, checking account, reward checking account, Connecticut

Related Posts

Comments
20 comments.
Comment #1 by Emil (anonymous) posted on
Emil
Amazingly efficient bank. Opened 3 different rewards accounts on the 24th of April. FNEFCU was on the ball. Got the account number when I signed up, logged into the account, etc. Download the signature form that I mailed from SoCal, and they had it today (Tuesday). Was able to fund up to $2,495 from my checking account, and that was taken out that same night. On Friday, went to my local Credit Union, and deposited a check for the rest, and it showed up under my account at FNEFCU the same day. Was just requested an email or mail copy of our DL, and utility bill, which I just sent.

I just got the signature docs from one of the others that I applied for. I have not heard from the third.

I am really impressed with FNEFCU.

3:25 PM, April 29, 2008

1
Comment #2 by Banking Guy (anonymous) posted on
Banking Guy
Thanks for sharing your experience with this reward checking account. Glad to read of the smooth account opening process.

1
Comment #3 by TacoShredder (anonymous) posted on
TacoShredder
Opening online was fast and easy, and they also quickly respond to email. They do a soft pull on EQ during application.

1
Comment #4 by Banking Guy (anonymous) posted on
Banking Guy
Thanks for the info! This credit union is looking better every week. Hope they can maintain the high yield.

1
Comment #5 by Anonymous posted on
Anonymous
I just applied for their reward checking account.

I spoke to a CSR this morning. She advised me the CU plans to reduce the APY effective June 1.
She didn't know the new APY yet.

1
Comment #6 by TacoShredder (anonymous) posted on
TacoShredder
New rate is 5.15%

1
Comment #7 by Anonymous posted on
Anonymous
The credit union pays for joining the Friend of the Lucy Robbins Welles Library!

All you need to do is send the CU the library's one-page membership application along with the CU signature page. The CU's online application lets you print both of these.

The only up-front cost is $10 to fund your savings account. You can do an ACH from an account at another financial institution. The rewards checking account does not require an opening deposit.

The rewards checking account also comes with free checks.

The CSR advised me that the CU will not order the rewards checking debit card or your checks until they receive the signature page. It makes sense to hold off on funding the rewards checking account till you get your debit card.

1
Comment #8 by Banking Guy (anonymous) posted on
Banking Guy
Thanks! First New England FCU's reward checking seems like a great account. I hope they can keep the 5.15% without any more rate cuts. I've updated the post with some of your info.

1
Comment #9 by Anonymous posted on
Anonymous
Excellent service at this CU. My request for activation of online banking was responded to within an hour, and I received my debit card PIN very quickly.

The CU gives you the 5.15% APY the first month (the calendar month in which you apply) regardless of whether you satisfy the activity requirements, so you can fund the rewards checking account at application time if you want rather than wait for the debit card.

For a small credit union, these guys are terrific.

1
Comment #10 by Anonymous posted on
Anonymous
Any balance over $25K only pays 2.5% APY.

1
Comment #11 by Anonymous posted on
Anonymous
Please expand: Refunds ATM fees worldwide (up to $25/cycle) etc.

1
Comment #12 by Anonymous posted on
Anonymous
the rate is going down to 4.15% on march 1st

1
Comment #13 by Anonymous posted on
Anonymous
Down to 3.65%

1
Comment #14 by Anonymous posted on
Anonymous
From an email I just got from them:

Please note, effective 6/1/09, the cap on the first tier rate will be $15,000.... down from $20,000

1
Comment #15 by Anonymous posted on
Anonymous
Back to 4.01% for $15K; wow, a rare upward adjustment.

1
Comment #16 by cjdtech (anonymous) posted on
cjdtech
Confirmed. Rate hike to 4.10% APY.

1
Comment #17 by 51hh posted on
51hh
Still see 4.10% on their website...

1
Comment #18 by 51hh posted on
51hh
I double-checked; the rate for non-relationship members (i.e., no HELOC, mortgage, etc.) is 3.01%; still 4.01% for relationship members.

1
Comment #19 by 51hh posted on
51hh
3.505%, up to $15,000.

1
Comment #20 by KenBDG posted on
KenBDG
Thanks 51hh. I'm afraid it has gotten more complicated. This 3.505% is only for Relationship Account members. They don't seem clear on what's required to qualify for this.

1