At first look, the reward checking account at Crescent Credit Union called eRewards Checking appears to be a very good deal. However, it has a few important features that make it much less attractive. Its top rate is currently 4.00% APY, but this is for balances of up to $5K. It's one of the rare reward checking accounts with three rate tiers (as of 7/3/2011):
- 4.00% APY for balance up to $5,000
- 2.00% APY for portion of balance between $5,000 and $25,000
- 0.15% APY for portion of balance over $25,000
- 0.15% base rate if requirements are not met
If you maintain a $25K balance, the blended APY would be 2.40%.
In addition to the the high rates, ATM surcharges are refunded up to $10 per month if the monthly requirements are met.
Monthly requirements include:
- 10 non-PIN debit card purchases
- Pay at least one bill using the credit union's free online bill pay system
- Direct deposit of your net income
There's also a potential monthly fee of $5 if the above requirements are not met. That's not typical for reward checking. Most are free checking accounts even if you don't meet the monthly requirements.
There's also another potential gotcha if you don't meet the monthly requirements. Point of Sale (POS) fees will also apply. POS transactions are typically defined as debit card purchases in which you use your PIN.
As you can see, there are several catches with that 4 percent yield.
Credit Union Membership
Credit union membership is open to those who live or work in Plymouth, Bristol, Norfolk, or Barnstable counties in Massachusetts. Please refer to the credit union's About Us page for more details.
Credit Union Overview
Crescent Credit Union branches are located in Brockton, Cambridge, Norwell and Taunton.
The credit union has an overall health score at DepositAccounts.com of 5 stars (out of 5) with a Texas Ratio of 4.92% (excellent) based on March 2011 data. Please refer to our financial overview of Crescent Credit Union for more details. The credit union is federally insured by the NCUA (Charter # 68048).
How This Reward Checking Compares
Residents of Massachusetts have many better reward checking accounts to choose from. The best is at Scituate Federal Savings which pays 3.25% APY for balances up to $25K (as of 7/3/2011), and there are no monthly fees regardless of meeting the monthly requirements. You can review other Massachusetts reward checking accounts in our reward checking table. If you don't see "Showing Massachusetts accounts" in the bar over the table, select the "Filter Accounts" button and select Massachusetts in the Availability section. You can also select "Nationally Available" to see reward checking accounts that can be opened in any state.