Dedicated to Deposits: Deals, Data, and Discussion

High-Yield Reward Checking Account at a North Carolina CU - Easy Membership (Coastal)

POSTED ON BY

Coastal Federal Credit Union

Update 12/03/10: The top rate is scheduled to fall to 2.00% APY starting the first of January 2011. Refer to the bottom of the post for the rate history.

Coastal Federal Credit Union is offering a reward checking account called Go Green Checking. The yield is 2.00% APY for balances up to $50,000 if the member conducts at least 12 qualifying debit card transactions per month. If this is not done, the rate falls to 0.30%. There are no minimum balance or monthly maintenance fees.

Unlike most other reward checking accounts from other institutions, this one only has the debit card usage requirement to qualify for the top yield. There are no direct deposit or ACH requirements.

The credit union also has some competitive rates on its CDs, IRAs and Health Savings Account (HSA). Please refer to the credit union's rate table for the latest rates. I last posted on this credit union in January 2008 when it was offering a special 5.01% 15-month CD.

Update 11/02/08: Credit union membership is open to NC, SC and VA members of the American Consumer Council (ACC). The credit union's new Eligibility page appears to limit credit union membership to NC, SC, and VA members and staff of ACC. The North Carolina Consumers Council is still listed in the field of membership list. Please check with the credit union to see if membership in this council would qualify you for membership. For more ways to be eligible for credit union membership, please refer to the credit union's Membership Page.

Credit union membership requires a minimum $25 deposit into the regular savings account.

Update 6/27/08: Regarding a hard credit pull, please note the following that is stated at the bottom of the credit union's Eligibility Page:

Each new account will be screened through a consumer reporting agency (such as ChexSystems and/or a Credit Bureau.)


When I contacted the CSR in February, I was told they do not pull credit reports on individuals applying for membership, but they do conduct a ChexSystem report.

Update 2/12/08: There were some concerns about whether Coastal FCU would require members to come into a branch to open this reward checking account. I just received confirmation by email that you can apply for the new Go Green Checking account by mail. This can be done with the membership application. Below are the application instructions that I received:

Please be sure to complete this form in full, and have your signature notarized. You will also need to include a copy of your driver's license or government issued ID card, and a check or money order for at least $25.00 ($25 required Savings Account deposit).

If you choose to open a Checking Account, an additional deposit of $10.00 is needed to cover most check printing charges (total for savings and checking is $35.00).


Branches are located in several North Carolina cities including Raleigh, Durham and Charlotte. The credit union is federally insured by the NCUA (Charter # 18297). It's a large credit union with $1.8 billion in assets and 167,687 members.

Other High Yield Reward Checking Accounts

With this credit union's easy membership, this reward checking account is one of the few that's available nationwide. There are a couple of nationwide ones with yields of 6.01% APY, but it's hard to say how long these will last. For other nationwide reward checking accounts, please see my reward checking weekly summary. For other reward checking accounts that are mostly local deals, please see my full list of reward checking accounts, and for an overview and discussion of reward checking, please see my reward checking overview post.

Rate History:

  • 01/01/11: 2.00% APY up to $50K
  • 01/01/10: 2.25% APY up to $50K
  • 07/01/09: 3.01% APY up to $50K; 0.30% over; 0.30% base
  • 02/01/09: 4.05% APY up to $50K
  • 02/11/08: 5.01% APY up to $50K; 0.60% if requirements not met

Related Pages: South Carolina, Virginia, North Carolina, Coastal Federal Credit Union, checking account, reward checking account

Related Posts

Comments
20 Comments.
Comment #1 by Cruiser (anonymous) posted on
Cruiser
Yet another Rewards Checking account with a balance cap. Some banks and credit unions have either a $100,000 cap or no cap at all. Anyone know why so many have a cap? Does the fact that so many have a cap mean the banks think they will lose money on the higher balances?

1
Comment #2 by Anonymous posted on
Anonymous
BankingGuy mentioned that membership is probably open to all who join that "ACC" thing, but does the "Go Green Checking" itself account require a visit to the branch? A few CUs have made that distinction - having fairly open membership policies, but restricting their Rewards Checking to local residents by requiring a branch visit.

1
Comment #3 by Banking Guy (anonymous) posted on
Banking Guy
About the cap, I think it has to do with making these accounts profitable for the banks and credit unions.

It's unlikely that these can be profitable with these high rates (5.01% is higher than all online savings account rates except OneUnited) if the average balance of their reward checking customers is high. The cap probably helps ensure that the average balance doesn't get too high. Since the large majority of people rarely keep more than $50K in their checking accounts, it probably doesn't hurt their attractiveness to the average Joe. And they hope these average Joes will be the ones that'll be heavy users of the debit cards (not just 10 small purchases) and will likely consider other products like loans.

About the potential branch-visit requirement to open the Go Green Checking, that's a good point. That MA credit union that had easy membership did place this restriction. However, it was a much smaller CU. I just emailed Coastal FCU to see if both the membership and the Go Green application can be done by mail.

1
Comment #4 by Anonymous posted on
Anonymous
Just to clarify, free membership to the ACC (which then allows you to become a member of Coastal) is only possible with a branch visit. I called and the bank representative told me that. She recommended that I join NCCC (a $36 fee that's good for 2 years but after that, it's a $10 annual fee).

For those who cannot visit the Coastal branch, I think joining ACC is a better deal. It's a one-time $12 fee.

As far as I know, no branch visit is required to open Go Green Checking. However, you have to open the Primary Savings as well.

1
Comment #5 by Anonymous posted on
Anonymous
My application with Coastal was denied because of multiple inquires through Chex Systems. I've opened 6 bank accounts during the past 6 months.

1
Comment #6 by Banking Guy (anonymous) posted on
Banking Guy
Sorry to read about the denial. I have read about others who've been denied accounts due to multiple ChexSystem inquiries. It seems like an abuse of ChexSystem in my opinion.

1
Comment #7 by Anonymous posted on
Anonymous
Coulee Bank ( http://www.couleebank.net ) offers an incredible 6.01% APY with their Rewards Checking account. The rate is easy to earn. All you have to do is make 10 check card transactions a month, use e-statements, and do 1 automatic payment a month (they call it ACH). Coulee Bank pays 6.01% on the first $25,000 and 1.01% on anything above that. The best thing about this account besides the rate is it is FREE, you can apply online, and it is from a great bank with real people that answer the phone. And as they like to say, Banking Green has its Rewards. The Rewards Checking account saves paper and preserves our natural resources. No wonder I feel good about recommending this to everyone I know. Check it out. I guarantee you will love it.

1
Comment #8 by Anonymous posted on
Anonymous
Thanks to Banking Guy for running such a great web site.

My promotional checking account at Capital One (5% for a year) expired last week, so I spent most of May/June finding, opening and verifying a new checking account. I considered several of the rewards checking accounts listed on this web site and ended up choosing Coastal because of the relatively high cap, the nationwide availability and the relatively high marks that they received on Bankrate's Safe & Sound list.

Before opening the account, I called their customer service number and spoke with a representative. He confirmed that "Go Green Checking" is available nationwide and that I could use ACC membership to qualify. I filled out the application form, had it notarized and sent a check for $50 (According to CSR, only $26 is necessary to open both a savings [required] and a checking account).

The account was opened quickly, and I received my debit card about one week later.

The online banking is typical of other credit unions I've joined: simple, but accurate. It doesn't appear that pushing/pulling money from external accounts is possible using Coastal's web site, but this isn't a problem for me as I've left my Capital One account open and it allows free ACH pushes and pulls. Also, for those who are curious, I've used my debit card about a half dozen times on both weekdays and weekends, and in every case, the transaction has posted before I got home and checked my account online. I point this out, because your 12 required transactions must post before the end of the cycle.

So, as far as commenting on Coastal FCU and their Go Green Checking, I feel comfortable saying that their customer service personnel are helpful and friendly and that opening an account is relatively straightforward. I'll post an update in a few months.

1
Comment #9 by Banking Guy (anonymous) posted on
Banking Guy
Thanks for sharing your experience with this credit union. Glad to read things have been going smoothly.

1
Comment #10 by Anonymous posted on
Anonymous
Hi, All, I am also thinking about opening a Go Green account, I however have a few concerns:

(1) What does the previously post means by” filled out the application, had it NOTARIZED”?
(2) Also, I barely write checks, so I asked Costal if they will at least print a few temporary checks for customers to begin with, and the answer I got was No. Anybody here received any temporary checks?
(3) About ACH: Does Costal offer free ACH transaction if it is set up from an outer bank (such as your Capital One account)?
(4) I am thinking about writing a check for $50,000 with the application form. Do you think it is okay to do so? Or should I wait till the application has been approved?
Thanks for helping!

1
Comment #11 by Anonymous posted on
Anonymous
I wrote the post referring to Capital One. Here are my suggestions regarding your questions. Please realize, that this is one person's opinion.

(1) What does the previously post means by” filled out the application, had it NOTARIZED”?

Your application needs to be notarized. That means that a public notary needs to watch you sign the document and then stamp or emboss it with their notary seal. For my application, I took it to my local credit union, where they notarize documents for free. You can also find a list of public notaries in your local phone book.

(2) Also, I barely write checks, so I asked Costal if they will at least print a few temporary checks for customers to begin with, and the answer I got was No. Anybody here received any temporary checks?

I didn't receive any temporary checks.

(3) About ACH: Does Costal offer free ACH transaction if it is set up from an outer bank (such as your Capital One account)?

Coastal did not charge a fee for any of my ACH transfers. Again, these were all pushes to my credit union account.

(4) I am thinking about writing a check for $50,000 with the application form. Do you think it is okay to do so? Or should I wait till the application has been approved?

I would advise against this for several reasons. Perhaps most importantly, as a new customer, a check for that amount will almost certainly receive a substantial hold. "Check 21" rules give banks a lot of liberty when it comes to holds on checks from new customers. Bottom line--if you were to transfer the money using a check, it might be several weeks or months before you have access to your money.

I just transferred a similar amount of money to my account using an ACH transfer, and it was available to me the day it was released by Capital One.

For me, ACH transfer was a much better choice.

Finally, I have an update on the posting of purchases to my account. I recently had a "pinless" purchase at FedEx and that transaction took about two days to post, similar to a typical credit card transaction. All of the times I've had to enter my pin, the transaction has posted within minutes.

Hope this helps.

1
Comment #12 by houseofpain (anonymous) posted on
houseofpain
You can also get free membership from ACC by joining NASA federal credit union, only $5 to open an account with NASA fed. URL below.

https://www.nasafcu.com/l2.aspx?ci=1137

1
Comment #13 by Anonymous posted on
Anonymous
Sent in application with notarizations and check for opening deposits on July 30th, haven't heard a thing yet. I did notice the check I sent in cleared my local bank Friday, hopefully that is a good sign ?

1
Comment #14 by Bill in Calif. (anonymous) posted on
Bill in Calif.
Finally got my account opened,debit cards,first box of checks etc. After fully opened I sent in a check for 15K. The CSR called my house and informed me of the usaul hold time, 5 business days or so for 5K, 9 days for full amount. My question to the guy who pushed money via ach. Are you sure there are no holds and no phone calls when you do that ? I have about 35K to get out of WAMU but they have a 10K a day limit, so I have to do it in pushes over a week or so. The money is in a savings account,only other alternative is to get a bank check for the full amount and send it my mail but not sure if that would be faster or better answer.

1
Comment #15 by Anonymous posted on
Anonymous
Update from previous posting (Anonymous, 1:21 June 15, 2008)

To answer Bill in Ca, I've made several ACH transfers since I opened the account and none has resulted in a hold. The largest of these transfers was $49k and was made one week after I opened the account. All of these transfers were made from a single checking account.

Overall, I've been happy with the account. Transactions continue to post quickly and I've had no trouble making my monthly quota of transactions. One piece of advice I can offer is to switch from paper to electronic statements as soon as you have access to your online account. Paper is the default method for delivery of statements, but it will cost you $2 per month. Electronic statements are free and frankly, more convenient.

I would still recommend this account to my friends and family.

Good luck.

1
Comment #16 by Anonymous posted on
Anonymous
Following the trend, Coast has mailed advance notice to members that effective 2/1/09 the new top rate will be 4.05% APY.
Go Green with respect to new trees does mean something: nearly 10,000 new trees, so it says.

1
Comment #17 by Anonymous posted on
Anonymous
Coastal just announced they are dropping their rate to 4% starting Feb. 1st 2009.

1
Comment #18 by Anonymous posted on
Anonymous
Coastal is dropping the rate again. The top of my May statement has this notice:

Notice to Account Holders: Effective July 1, 2009, the dividend yield on Go Green Checking will change from 4.05% APY to 3.01% APY.

1
Comment #19 by Anonymous posted on
Anonymous
Coastal is dropping the rate again. The top of my Dec statement has this notice:

Notice to Account Holders: Effective January 1, 2010, the dividend yield on Go Green Checking will change from 3.01% APY to 2.25% APY.

1
Comment #20 by Anonymous posted on
Anonymous
Coastal is dropping the rate again. (Familiar ring!?)  The top of my Nov e-statement has this notice:

Notice to Account Holders: Effective January 1, 2011, the dividend yield on Go Green Checking will change from 2.25% APY to 2.00% APY.

 

2