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Consumers Credit Union (IL)3.09%-$10kFree Rewards Checking (Low)
Consumers Credit Union (IL)0.01%--Free Rewards Checking (Low)
Accounts mentioned in this post. Rates as of August 27, 2014

Consumers Credit Union's Reward Checking Guarantees 4.09% Through June 30, 2012


Consumers Credit Union (IL)

Consumers Credit Union has added a rate guarantee to its free reward checking account. It's guaranteeing 4.09% APY until June 30, 2012. This is listed on the credit union's rates page:

Tired of big-bank “bait and switch” teaser rates? Try CCU’s FREE Rewards Checking account, GUARANTEED 4.09% Annual Percent Yield (APY) rate through June 30, 2012!

It's important to note that this 4.09% APY is only for balances up to $10,000. The portion of the balance between $10,000 and $25,000 only earns 0.56% APY, and the portion above $25,000 earns only 0.35% APY. If you don't meet the monthly requirements, the rate falls to 0.01%. The monthly requirements include:

  • 12 signature-based debit card purchases
  • one direct deposit OR one ACH debit OR online bill pay
  • Access Online Banking
  • Receive Electronic Statements

In addition to the high rate, there are also ATM fee reimbursements.

Consumers Credit Union's reward checking account has a long history. I first reported on this account over four years ago on August 2007. At that time it was paying 6.01% APY for balances up to $25K. Even though the rate and balance cap have fallen, it's nice to see that the account is still going strong.

Is the $10K Balance Cap a Deal Killer?

The $10K balance cap may be a deal killer for many. However, it's important to consider the blended APY. Our rate tables can help you with this comparison. When we designed the rate tables, we decided not to provide the blended APY since this would be confusing. We didn't want our rate tables to conflict what you see at the banks' websites.

Instead of computing the blended APY, we added the column "1yr Estimated Earnings". This shows how much you would earn with a certain investment amount during a year. Select the "Filter Accounts" button to adjust the investment amount.

If you adjust the investment amount to $25,000, you'll see an APY of 0.56% for this reward checking account. This is the APY that applies to a $25K balance. To compare this with the other accounts, refer to the 1yr estimated earnings. You'll see it's $493. This is just under Connexus Credit Union's Xtraordinary Checking account which currently pays 2.00% APY for balances up to $25,000. Thus, Consumers Credit Union's blended APY for a $25K balance is just under 2.00%.

It's important to note that Consumers Credit Union is only guaranteeing 4.09% through June 30, 2012. I don't see any guarantee of its second tier rate, and this has been recently reduced. If this drops to zero, the blended APY falls from 1.97% to 1.64% for a $25K balance.

Refer-A-Friend Bonus

Another thing that makes this a good deal is Consumers Credit Union's refer-a-friend promotion. When you refer a friend to open the reward checking account, both of you will receive $50. Refer to the credit union's refer-a-friend promo page for the full details. If you want to request a referral, please limit your request to this forum thread.

One Downside

Multiple readers have mentioned that they were rejected in the application process. Here's a comment from one reader:

They are declining people who have a large number of inquires with ChexSystems and since they pull your funds right away (before a determination is made) and you have to wait 10 business days to get your funds returned. PROCEED WITH CAUTION!

If you do apply for the checking account, it makes sense to fund the account with the minimum required. If you do get rejected, at least you won't have much money locked while you wait for the money to be returned.

Easy Membership

The credit union continues to make it easy for anyone to join. According to its membership page:

Membership follows a simple, two-step process: Pay a one-time, non-refundable $5 fee to our sponsor, the Consumers Cooperative Association, and then deposit and maintain a minimum $5 in your Membership Share/Savings Account.

There's an online application that's provided by Andera. It appears to allow you to apply for both the association membership and the credit union membership at the same time. You can also select the accounts that you want to open and fund the accounts with an ACH transfer from a checking or savings account.

Credit Union Overview

Consumers Credit Union branches are located in the Illinois cities of Gurnee, Mundelein, Round Lake Beach, Gurnee, Volo and Waukegan.

The credit union has an overall health score at of 4 stars (out of 5) with a Texas Ratio of 16.12% (average) based on June 2011 data. Please refer to our financial overview of Consumers Credit Union for more details. The credit union is federally insured by the NCUA (Charter # 68588).

Finding Other Reward Checking Accounts

To find the best reward checking accounts in your area or that are available nationwide, please refer to our reward checking account table. Use the "Filter Accounts" button on top of the table to select either nationwide accounts and/or your state. Also, you can use this button to select the investment amount. This allows you to compare accounts with different rate tiers. For more details about how to use the rate tables, please refer to our rate table guide.

  Tags: Consumers Credit Union (IL), Illinois, checking account

Related Posts

Comment #1 by 51hh posted on
I would rather get a (3.5%, $25K) RCA vs. the (4%, $10K) RCA.  $20K is ok, $10K way too low for my interest.

Comment #2 by pearlbrown posted on
If someone only had $10K to work with, the 4.09% guarantee would certainly be very welcome.  With more resources, an RCA with a slightly lower rate but a higher cap (such as the 3.5%, $25K cap 51hh quotes) might be a better use of time and effort in meeting the reward requirements. 

Comment #3 by pdxmale posted on
open it for the bonus --- then keep it in reserve for when/if it becomes needed. It's a free checking account that is in fact better than free as it PAYS.

In fact - I will pay you an ADDITIONAL $10.00 if you let me refer you.

Comment #4 by Anonymous posted on
If I was in the market for a new reward checking account, I would rather be refered by someone I know, and not someone using this website to post their Email address for their own personal gain.  As the rewards for using a checkcard have gone down the drain, it has some using less than safe tactics to make a buck.  That is one of the downsides of a site like this one.  Banks and CUs wanted reward checking accounts to be used as a primary account for the customer. Unfortunately, what many did was use these accounts to park large sums of money when limits were high. That DID NOT generate much income for the banks, because the customers were just making minimal efforts to qualify, and doing this with many other reward checking accounts at the same time.  The reduction of the fees that banks could charge retailers for checkcard transactions was the most recent nail in the coffin of the whole reward checking program, but it was already bleeding severely from many who just used the accounts for substitute to CDs as long as the interest rates were higher than fixed term investments.  10K is a resonable limit for a reward checking account with a 4 percent APY, IF you are using the account for your primary checking account.  I commend CCU for keeping the rate high into 2012.  Also, thanks to Ken for keeping us informed.

Comment #7 by dbl118 posted on
#4 If I was in the market for a new RCA, I'd go with the person offering me an extra $10.  I mean I'm cool and popular and all, but as far as I know, none of my homies have a consumers credit union reward checking account to refer me with.

Comment #5 by pdxmale posted on
have it your way, you are entitled to your view

Comment #6 by Anonymous posted on
at  burger king ??

Comment #8 by pdxmale posted on
HERE!!!!!! HERE!!!!!

Comment #9 by pearlbrown posted on
@#4  A couple of thoughts:

Banks and CUs may want the accounts to be used as a primary checking account, but other than the Amazing Kreskin (oops, showing my age) I don't know many people who are good at mind-reading.  Vague terms leave much open to interpretation and I have not heard of a single institution which has defined what "use as a primary checking account" means, probably because covers so much ground and each individual situation is different.  

Let's try.... is it a primary checking account if I pay all my bills through that account or just some, and if so which ones?   Utilities?  Someone's rent may include utilities.  Car payments?  What about the frugal soul who drives a paid-off car?  Telephone bill?  Someone may use an additional line on Mom and Dad's account.   Gas?  Someone who drives a company car and uses a company credit card so the company is billed automatically would not be making gasoline purchases with the account. 

Some institutions have been able to define requirements clearly (example:  x transactions of $y minimum each), but they are to the best of my knowledge only a handful. 

As to your statement of 10K being a reasonable limit for a reward checking account with a 4 percent APY, if it is being used as your primary checking account, I  say that also depends on individual circumstances. 

However, I do agree with you that Ken deserves huge thanks for the great job he does keeping us all informed - and kudos also to all those who participate and contribute productively to this forum!

Comment #11 by 11seeker11 posted on
I was referred to CCU and signed up last week. I did a lot of checking with them and other members about the consistency of their rate and it appears that they've had the 4.09% rewards checking for over 2 years now. I found them to be very helpful and knowledgeable during my enrollment. I've probably spoken with them 6 times in total. And I've referred two other people since then. I believe I'm going to be very happy with them.

My referring member told me that he pays multiple (but smaller) payments online to his cell phone each month and instantly takes care of the 12 card transactions each month. Believe I'll do something similar so I don't end up at the end of the month with too few transactions and don't qualify for the higher interest rate. Will be transferring my local savings acct (paying .01%) to CCU in the coming days. Having just gone through the enrollment process with CCU I can guide you through it if you're looking for someone to sponsor you. Happy to! Karen

Comment #12 by Anonymous posted on
I just got email with DENIED reward cycle because it said I had 5 posted and cleared using PIN and 8 posted and cleared WITHOUT using PIN and counted only 8 as total purchases posted and cleared. Is this to say that transactions only count if I DON'T use a PIN? Seems odd. I have emailed them and await reply and hope its a mistake.

Comment #13 by pdxmale posted on
READ thier rules ----CLEARLY states that PIN transactions DO NOT count

Comment #14 by Anonymous posted on
Doh! Don't know how I missed that but it seems a stupid rule and the first that I've seen of the many that I have done. Oh well, on to the next month. Thanks Pdxmale.

Comment #15 by its called (anonymous) posted on
its called
caveat emptor

Comment #16 by derek (anonymous) posted on
to #11 by 11seeker11:  thanks for the advice.

but how does making multiple [12] payments online take care of the 12 card transactions each month?

I thought that card transactions meant physically using a debit card, [albeit with signature instead of PIN], whereas online payments are simply debited to the account.  what am I missing?


Comment #17 by pdxmale posted on
It depends on the method that the "merchant" uses to process the payment.

Most of the online payments will count but for example: AT&T will accept your card --- but sometimes they have a dialoge box asking if they can process the payment thu a debit card service. If you don't UNCHECK this box ----it is a debit... if you do UNCHECK it ----it is run as a credit card.

Comment #18 by sick of big banks (anonymous) posted on
sick of big banks
This might be a dumb question.  I'm used to using my debit card for purchases, but unless I'm paying a restaurant bill, most merchants have me input my PIN.  Does this mean that groceries and gas purchases don't count towards the 12 transactions, or can you choose "credit" when swiping your debit card at these places?  Thanks for anyone's helpful response. 

Comment #19 by pdxmale posted on
if you enter a pin ---- no, it will not count.


If you do it as a charge --- sign for it ---- it will count.


any phone or internet transaction will count ---- as you do not enter a pin


if you need a referral ---let me know --- I will pay $15.00 in addition to the $50.00 that Consumers pays you.

Comment #20 by pdxmale posted on
PERHAPS THIS WILL HELP --- from the horses mouth

Dear Steve,


Online purchases is considered a point of sale and most merchants to not ask for a signature if it is under a certain dollar amount, which is also a point of sale transaction. Any transaction you make in person is a point of sale purchase.




Thank you,






  Janine Peddle  |  Contact Center Representative II

T 847.265.5537 I F 847.782.7447 I 877.275.2228 ext. 8837 |

Consumers Credit Union  |  Your life.  Our commitment.








Comment #21 by karmachameleon posted on
Hi, I still need a referral as soon as possible. PM only. Thanks.

Comment #22 by Anonymous posted on
When you make a purchase with a debit card and it asks for your pin #, usually if you hit the cancel button it will then automatically start processing the transaction as a "charge" allowing you to make your limit, and as far as I know when making purchases online your debit card is always used as a credit card (at least mine is, no one ever asks for a pin online----nor would I give it...and it always counts as a transaction)

Comment #23 by fszy posted on
I will pay additional $20 to people who is referred by me to join the Union after I get the $50 referral bonus through PAYPAL. Just PM me if you need a referral.