Dedicated to Deposits: Deals, Data, and Discussion
Advantis Credit Union1.75%-$25kFusion Checking
Advantis Credit Union0.10%--Fusion Checking
Accounts mentioned in this post. Rates as of August 20, 2014

Rare Reward Checking Rate Hike at Advantis Credit Union in Oregon


Advantis Credit Union

With so many banks and credit unions cutting their reward checking rates, I thought it would be a nice change to highlight a credit union which did the opposite. On July 1st Advantis Credit Union increased the top rate of its reward checking account (called Fusion Checking) from 2.00% to 3.00% APY. This rate continues to apply to balances up to $25,000. The portion of the balance over $25,000 earns 0.20%. These rates are earned only if the monthly requirements are met. If they're not met, the rate falls to 0.10% for the entire balance. Hat tip to DA member pearlbrown who first mentioned this news in this forum thread.

I first reported on the Fusion Checking account in 2007 when the top rate was 6.25% APY. The yield had fallen to 2.00% in April 2011.

The monthly requirements have remained unchanged since my first report:

  • 12 debit card purchases
  • 1 automatic payment or direct deposit
  • log into online banking at least once
  • Receive statements electronically

If these requirements are met for the month, the above rates apply. In addition, nationwide ATM fees charged by other banks are refunded (up to $25 each month). The checking account has no minimum balance requirement and no monthly service charge.


According to the credit union's Join Us page, "if you live or work in the Portland metro area, you're eligible to join". At the bottom of this page, there's a link to an online application. However, the first page of the application instructs new members to visit the branch after submitting the application to visit a branch to verify members' IDs and to finish setting up the accounts.

Credit Union Overview

Advantis Credit Union branches are located in Portland and Hillsboro, Oregon.

The credit union has an overall health score at of 5 stars (out of 5) with a Texas ratio of 5.40% (excellent) based on March 2012 data. Please refer to our financial overview of Advantis Credit Union for more details. The credit union is federally insured by the NCUA (Charter # 62659).

Future Rates?

I don't want sound pessimistic, but history has shown these rate increases are often followed by rate cuts within a year. One example is University of Iowa Community Credit Union which raised its reward checking yield in March 1, 2011 from 4% to 4.25%. This only lasted 5 months. The yield fell to 3.75% on July 30, 2011.

How This Reward Checking Rate Compares

The only institution in Oregon that has a reward checking account as competitive as the Fusion Checking account is Old West Federal Credit Union. Its reward checking account has a 3.01% APY for balances up to $25K. However, credit union membership is only available in eastern Oregon counties.

For reward checking accounts that are available nationwide, the highest rate for balances up to $25K is 2.52% APY at ABCO Federal Credit Union.

These rates are accurate as of 7/10/2012.

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.

  Tags: Advantis Credit Union, checking account, Oregon

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Comment #1 by 51hh posted on
With the current low-interest rate climate, the (3%, $25K) RCA suddenly appears to be attractive.  It is interesting how human mind adapts to less-desirable enviroment.

In addition to active RCAs (at 4%/3.5%), I have decided to keep the Erie GE FCU and UICC RCAs (both at about 3%, $25K) as inactive RCAs for reserve/backup.  Who knows, I may even decide to use them one of these days.

Comment #2 by pearlbrown posted on
Thanks Ken for highlighting these two institutions.  For someone who might be concerned about the risk of an RCA at a 2-star rated (0 stars at Bauer) institution,  is it fair to say that it is similar to the situation (risk-wise) of opening a CD at the institution, namely  a) no risk to the safety of RCA funds on deposit (due to NCUA coverage), and b) risk that in case of a sale, the acquiring institution might not continue to offer the product or maintain rate on the RCA (thinking about Danvers and People's United).  Would there be any other concerns?


Comment #3 by 51hh posted on
In answering PB's question:

The biggest risk of 1-2 star OW FCU at (3.01%, $25K), compared to 3 stars ACU at (3%, $25K), is the relatively high likelihhood of OW FCU to fall under the FDIC troubled banks/CCs or Cease & Desist list, therefore drastically and abruptly reducing the RCA interest rate. 

Otherwise, OW FCU RCA rate has been steady at (3.01%, $25K) since 10/2010 while th ACU rate was dropped from (6.25%, $25K) to (2%, $25K) since 2007.  The $1B vs. $100M asset size is another factor for consideration.  

Comment #4 by pearlbrown posted on
51hh, thank you for mentioning the Cease and Desist list (or whatever is the equivalent for credit unions) as well as the asset size.  Those are definitely two key factors to consider.  The "Problem Bank list" is a useful resource, and while I have not found its equivalent for credit unions, it would be reasonable to expect OW to appear on such a list. 

IMO, if someone could meet the membership requirements, and can live with the uncertainty of how long the rate might last,  OW might be worth looking into.  The APY (3.01%) and cap ($25k) are good, and the qualification requirements (at least 12 debit card purchases, at least 1 direct deposit, ACH transaction, or bill payment post, receive E-Statements) are reasonable.  A 5* institution would of course be preferable, but sometimes that's not an option. 

FWIW, a friend who joined OW a couple of months ago told me they were very friendly and easy to do business with (maybe as a result of the smaller size?). 

Comment #5 by Anonymous posted on
First Tech's dividend checking pays 2.57% APY up to 10K, 0.20% after that.

Comment #6 by Dan B. (anonymous) posted on
Dan B.
It's a pretty sad state of affairs when it seems that everybody here is now either a rate chaser, a bonus **** or both. 

Comment #7 by Anonymous posted on
#6:  Excuse me but what other reason do you suppose Ken goes to all the trouble for making this Blog and Forum available to us if not for us to find better rates and maybe a bonus if possible.  I take great pride in being a so called "rate chaser" especially these days.  When our CDs mature, our car gets gassed up and we are off to find whatever bank or cu we can get the best rate at.  Is there any other way to survive with Bernanke doing his best to destroy any decent interest rates savers can get?  If you are not what you are calling us, what are you even doing posting to this blog?  You did say everybody here so I guess you were including yourself in those names you called us.

Comment #11 by Anonymous posted on
old west john day oregon drops rate to 2.01 grow green checking

Comment #12 by pearlbrown posted on
The rate change for Old West's Grow Green checking from 3.01 to 2.01 was made on 10/2/12 and the credit union did not notify any account holders. 

Comment #13 by pearlbrown posted on
The rate for Advantis Credit Union's Fusion Checking has dropped to 2.25%.