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High-Yield Reward Checking Account at a Kansas CU (Golden Plains)


Golden Plains Credit Union

Update 9/1/10: The top rate has fallen to 4.44% APY.

Golden Plains Credit Union has a reward checking account called Golden Rewards Checking that pays 4.44% APY on balances up to $25,000 (0.30% for above) and refunds ATM fees (up to $25 per cycle) if the following monthly requirements are met: 1) 10 Visa Check Card transactions, 2) receive e-statements, and 3) log-on to Golden Plains Online. If these are not met, the rate falls to 0.10%. The minimum opening deposit is $100. There are no monthly service charges.

Update 11/13/08: I confirmed with the credit union rep that they have changed their policies regarding who is eligible for the reward checking account. Only members who are Kansas residents are eligible. See the credit union's FAQ page for more details.

Membership is open to members of the Lee Richardson Zoo. It appears this membership costs $25 at minimum. Credit union membership is also open to those who reside in Kansas or the Liberal trade area. Please see their Become a Member page for more details. Membership requires a minimum $10 balance in your savings account.

A reader commented that he confirmed that membership in Friends of Lee Richardson Zoo does indeed qualify you for credit union membership, and that the application for membership and the reward checking account can be done online.

Update 4/04/08: The reader glxpass has followed up with the credit union for more details. Below is what he has reported:

I've contacted Golden Plains Credit Union, and one can open an account there from out of their area, despite the lack of a membership/savings account application on their web site. Here's how:

1. Fill and and submit the on-line checking application.

2. Send in or fax or e-mail (I'm not sure of the fax number or e-mail address) to following, attention: Kayla:

A. Proof of membership of Friends of Lee Richardson Zoo. A receipt is fine.

B. Copy of driver's license

C. Funding for the savings share account (minimum $10) and the Reward Checking account (minimum $100 to open). The total funding amount can be on one check.

You can also fund the account by wire, but you must first send in the other materials and obtain a member number. The wire instructions (sorry, I don't know the fee) are:

1. Wire using routing number 301180111. This is actually for Kansas Corporate Credit Union in Witchita, KS.

2. On the wiring instructions say "Further credit goes to routing number 301178181, Golden Plains Credit Union.

This account opening process for out of area people might be fairly new to Golden Plains, so I'm sure the above instructions will get refined.

For those who live in Kansas, you can join and open the account at one of their branches. The credit union is federally insured by the NCUA (Charter # 62542). It has $212.0 million in assets and 39,262 members.

Thanks to the reader glxpass for noting this reward checking in the comments and checking on its membership qualifications. Also, credit to Credit Union Deals for finding it.

For other high yield reward checking accounts and to learn more about these accounts, please refer to my High Yield Checking website.

Rate History:

  • 09/01/10: 4.44% APY up to $25K; 0.30% over; 0.10% base
  • 04/03/08: 6.01% APY up to $25K; 0.51% over; 0.21% base

  Tags: Golden Plains Credit Union, Kansas, checking account, reward checking account

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Comment #1 by Bill in Ca. (anonymous) posted on
Bill in Ca.
I seem to have trouble finding an application for membership on their webpage, although I do an application for the checking account if you are already a member. Do you need to join the friends of the zoo first? if so, how does the credit union know you are a member? Does this CU have any ACH push or pull capabilities ? Thanks for providing such a great service Banking Guy !!!

Comment #2 by glxpass (anonymous) posted on
My proofreading skills are terrible.

I made a mistake for the routing number of Kansas Corporate Credit Union, whose routing number you use, with a note in the wiring instructions to say "further credit to Golden Plains Credit Union, routing number 301178181", or something like that.

I repeated the Golden Plains routing number instead of giving the routing number for Kansas Corporate CU, 301180111.

Comment #3 by Banking Guy (anonymous) posted on
Banking Guy
I've updated the post with the correct routing number of Kansas Corporate CU (301180111). Thanks!

Comment #4 by Anonymous posted on
The bill pay on this account is $5.95/month unless you qualify for their services plus.

Comment #5 by cjdtech (anonymous) posted on
Per their Golden Rewards FAQ: A: Golden Plains Credit Union Members and Kansas (Central and Western Kansas) Residents ONLY are eligible. So this is likely not available nationwide any longer.

Comment #6 by Banking Guy (anonymous) posted on
Banking Guy
Thanks. The credit union wouldn't be the first to restrict access to a reward checking account. But it's still a little vague. It's not clear to me if it's saying that both CU members and Kansas residents are eligible or only CU members who are Kansas residents. I've sent an email to confirm, and I'll update once I receive a reply.

For those thinking about applying, I would recommend asking the credit union directly about Lee Richardson Zoo membership and if this would qualify you for both CU membership and this reward checking account.

Comment #7 by Banking Guy (anonymous) posted on
Banking Guy
cjdtech was right. They're now restricting the reward checking account to members who are Kansas state residents. They never replied to my email, so I called and was told of this new policy. I guess they had too many out-of-state members signing up for this account.

Comment #8 by ChristopherPaul (anonymous) posted on
GPCU allows membership based solely on proof of membership to Lee Richardson Zoo; however, no rewards checking account unless you meet residency requirements.

Comment #9 by Anonymous posted on
Sole survivor with 6% APY... wonder when the rate will drop, 1, 2, 3, ...

Comment #10 by Anonymous posted on
The higher one climbs, the deeper is the fall; like Rio Bank (TX). I expect this one to go to the neighborhood of 3.5% once it changes rate.

Comment #11 by 51hh posted on
This RCA sustained for amazingly long time, will be 4.44% on 9/1/10.  Still the best record for the endangered 6% club!  Now "GONE WITH THE WIND"!!