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.
- 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