In the last few weeks I've been taking new looks at some of the old reward checking accounts that continue to be good deals. Today's updated review is on the reward checking account at TwinStar Credit Union which it calls Accelerator Checking. I first reviewed this account in March 2007 when it had a 6% APY for all balances. The rate has fallen, and there's now a balance cap. Nevertheless, it remains competitive for reward checking accounts.
Accelerator Checking has the following rates and features if certain monthly requirements (as of 5/22/2012):
- 2.50% APY on balances up to $20,000
- 0.25% APY on portion of balance over $20,000
- 0.10% APY if requirements are not met
- ATM surcharge refunds of up to $20 per month (nationwide only)
The monthly requirements include:
- 12 debit card purchases
- Access online banking at least once
- Receive eStatements
Accelerator Checking has no monthly fees and no minimum balance requirements. Also, online bill pay is free.
Application and Eligibility
Unlike my recent updated reviews, not everyone in the nation can qualify for membership in TwinStar Credit Union. However, its field of membership does allow millions to join. The credit union expanded its FOM in 2009. Now anyone who lives or works in Washington State can join. Also eligible are those who live or work in the Portland, Oregon metropolitan area including Multnomah, Washington, Clackamas and Marion counties. Please refer to the credit union's About Us page for more details.
There's an online application that allows people to join and open accounts.
TwinStar Credit Union Overview
TwinStar Credit Union branches are located the Oregon cities of Portland and Wilsonville and in several Washington State cities some of which include Aberdeen, Lacey, Olympia, Tacoma and Vancouver. The credit union is also a member of the shared branch network CU Service Center.
The credit union has an overall health score at DepositAccounts.com of 4 stars (out of 5) with a Texas ratio of 11.19% (above average) based on December 2011 data. Please refer to our financial overview of TwinStar Credit Union for more details. The credit union is federally insured by the NCUA (Charter # 68271).
How This Reward Checking Account Compares
The 2.50% APY makes this competitive for reward checking accounts in today's interest rate environment. It has the highest rate for Washington State banks and credit unions. The second highest is 2.25% APY for up to $20K at Fibre Federal Credit Union. However, Fibre's FOM is much more narrow.
For reward checking accounts available nationwide, there are two credit unions which offer better deals. If you want a $25K balance cap, the best rate is 2.52% APY at ABCO Federal Credit Union. For a $20K balance cap, the best rate is 3.00% APY at INOVA Federal Credit Union.
These rates and balance caps are accurate as of 5/22/2012.
There are reward checking accounts with higher rates in some parts of the country. 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.
If you're new to reward checking, my blog post, 10 Common Traits of High-Yield Reward Checking, should be useful.