Dedicated to Deposits: Deals, Data, and Discussion

The Last Remaining 6% Reward Checking Account


Those who were able to join United FCU were fortunate to have a 6% reward checking account that lasted from 2008 through 2009. Unfortunately, the credit union reported that this rate is scheduled to fall to 3.65% APY starting in January. It's interesting to note what the bank mentioned regarding future rates:

Will the rate change again?

We will continually monitor the Interest Plus checking for the ability to change the rate. The more members use their Debit Card, bring loans they have elsewhere, and give United the opportunity for new loans, mortgages, home equity loans, etc. the higher the rate that we will be able to pay back to our members.

As I described in my post on the math behind reward checking, banks make money from debit card usage. However, banks and credit unions also need new loans. This marketing brochure from BancVue shows that interest income from loans is more important than debit card revenue.

Now that United FCU's reward checking rate will be dropping, this leaves Golden Plains Credit Union with the only institution with a 6% reward checking account. This assumes that they'll keep this rate into January. Golden Plains has maintained a 6.01% APY since I first posted on this asccount in April 2008. Since you have to live in Kansas to qualify for this account, the credit union shouldn't be overwhelmed with too many deposits. So hopefully, the six percent yield can last.

There are still quite a few reward checking accounts offering yields over 5%. Unfortunately, none of these are nationwide deals. The best nationwide rates remain in the low 4% range.

To find reward checking accounts in your state or to find ones that are available nationwide, please refer to the reward checking section of To learn more about reward checking, please refer to this reward checking overview.

  Tags: checking account

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Comment #1 by Anonymous posted on
Even 5% APY is an reachable dream for many. As for their statement, it is obvious that (1) RCA customers usage of debit cards is unsatisfactory so far, (2) RCA customers have brought very little business (mortage, loans, etc.) to the bank. As I c an tell the banks many moons ago even before the RCA offers: This is not as profitable a business as those analyses show. Many rational banks are jsut waking up. That is why they have to do such a huge rate drop (2.5% drop!!) after the 6% offer.

This is the reality behind that bank statement.

Just look at FBA&T and several others reputable banks, even put a high debit requirement (say $10 per transaction) would not save them from big rate drop. It is jsut not profitable for banks, period!!

It is the lie of the century, IMO. Hopefully banks will wake up gradually, not right away; for us to take advantage of the leftover.

Comment #2 by Anonymous posted on
Correction: an unreachable dream.