If you live in California, your choices of local reward checking accounts are limited. Currently, I only have two credit unions in California which offer accounts with yields over 3.00% for balances up to $25K. One is FAST Federal Credit Union which is available to Kings County residents. The other is Cooperative Center Federal Credit Union which is based in Berkeley. A review of this Cooperative Center reward checking is long overdue. The account has the following rates and features if certain monthly requirements are met (as of 2/4/2011):
- 3.01% APY on balances up to $25,000
- 0.31% APY on portion of balance over $25,000
- 0.10% base rate if requirements are not met
- Unlimited ATM fee refunds
The monthly requirements include:
- 12 debit card purchases
- 1 direct deposit or automatic withdrawal or bill pay
- Log into online banking
- Receive e-statements
There is no monthly fee or minimum balance. The minimum initial deposit is $100. Additional detail of this account are listed in the credit union's Green Rewards Checking micro-site.
The credit union doesn't seem to have a community-based charter. Credit union membership is open to students of the University of California Berkeley and members of the Berkeley Chamber of Commerce. Employees of certain businesses are also eligible. The credit union appears to provide one way that may make membership easy for locals. According to the credit union "you may also become a member by joining the South Berkeley Neighborhood Development Corp.". Please refer to the credit union's Who Can Join page for more details.
The credit union's main office is located at 2001 Ashby Ave. in Berkeley, CA. There's also a branch on the U.C. Berkeley Campus.
The credit union has an overall health score at DepositAccounts.com of 3 out of 5 with a Texas Ratio of 36.78% (average) based on September 2010 data. Please refer to our financial overview of Cooperative Center Federal Credit Union for more details. The credit union is federally insured by the NCUA (Charter # 4900).
Other High-Yield Reward Checking Accounts
To find reward checking accounts in your state or to find those available nationwide, please refer to the reward checking section of DepositAccounts.com.