It has been almost 5 years since my first review of Provident Credit Union's reward checking account. Rates have gone down, but it has remained competitive. Also, the balance cap has stayed the same. The last time the rate has fallen was in January 2011. When Provident does cut rates, the cuts are usually small. Most rate cuts have been 25 or 50 basis points. As we have seen with some reward checking accounts at other institutions, rate cuts can often be a percentage point or more.
Below is the list rates and features of Provident's Super Reward Checking if certain monthly requirements are met (as of 4/30/2012):
- 2.26% APY for up to $25,000
- 0.31% APY for portion of balance over $25,000
- Up to $2.50 rebate per transaction at any national ATM
- 0.00% if requirements are not met
The following are the monthly requirements:
- 10 debit card purchases
- 1 ACH direct deposit or debit
- Receive online e-statements
There is no monthly fee or minimum balance requirement. The minimum initial deposit is $25. The credit union now limits the number of Super Reward Checking accounts to no more than 3 per member.
Application and Eligibility
Another nice aspect of this checking account is that you can apply online, and membership in the credit union is open to all via an association membership. Provident's field of membership includes members of several associations. Some of the associations listed with national coverage include the American Cancer Society and the Sierra Club and Sierra Club Foundation. The Sierra Club has a membership page where you can become a member online. They are currently listing a special membership level that only costs $15. The lowest standard membership level is $25.
For those in California, you can be immediately eligible to join Provident if you live or work in Los Angeles or in one of many counties. Please refer to the Provident eligibility page for the full details.
Applying online has advantages over visiting a branch. A $10 membership fee is waived in the online application. Also, the first box of checks is free when you apply online. Membership requires a minimum balance of $5 in the membership savings account.
Provident Credit Union Overview
Most of Provident Credit Union branches are located in the San Francisco Bay Area.
It's a large credit union with $1.52 billion in assets. It has an overall health score at DepositAccounts.com of 5 stars (out of 5) with a Texas Ratio of 5.15% (excellent) based on December 2011 data. Please refer to our financial overview of Provident Credit Union for more details. The credit union is federally insured by the NCUA (Charter # 66343).
Overview of Reward Checking
If you're new to reward checking, my blog post, 10 Common Traits of High-Yield Reward Checking, should be useful.
To find the highest reward checking rates in your area, please refer to our reward checking rate table. This can also be used to find accounts available nationwide. If you're new to these tables, my rate table guide should be useful.