I first reviewed the reward checking account at Capital Educators Federal Credit Union in 2009. The credit union calls it High Yield Checking. As you might expect, the rate isn't as high as it used to be in 2009. In addition, the balance cap has fallen. The reason this deserved a new review is due to the credit union expanding its field of membership. Anyone can now become a member by joining a foundation. When compared against other reward checking accounts nationally available, it's competitive.
The following are the rates and features if certain monthly requirements are met as of 7/13/2012:
- 2.50% APY for up to $10,000
- 0.20% APY for over $10,000
- 0.05% APY if requirements are not met
- Nationwide ATM refunds up to $5 per transaction, maximum refund up to $25 per month
Monthly requirements include:
- 12 signature-based debit card purchases
- 1 direct deposit or ACH automatic payment
- Receive electronic statements
The account has no monthly fees and no minimum balance requirement. Only one account per main member SSN is allowed. Requirements are waived during the first qualification cycle and the high yield rate is earned regardless of whether the requirements are met.
For those who don't qualify for membership by working in Idaho's Educational Industry, you can now qualify by joining a foundation. Here's what is stated in the credit union's Who Can Join page:
When you join the Idaho CapEd Foundation as a Sustaining Member Volunteer, you qualify for membership.
The Idaho CapEd Foundation is a non-profit organization that funds worthwhile educational endeavors that include the CapEd Teacher Grant Program. Minimum donations are $1 for students and $5 for non-students.
Unfortunately, they don't have an online application. If you don't live near a branch, you can join and open accounts by mail. Instructions are located in the Becoming a Member page. New members will have to fill out an application form, the CapEd Foundation donation form (for those who don't immediately qualify) and an account card to open the checking account and a debit/ATM card application.
Credit Union Overview
CapEd branches are located in Boise, Idaho and in its metro area.
The credit union has an overall health score at DepositAccounts.com of 5 stars (out of 5) with a Texas ratio of 0.62% (excellent) based on March 2012 data. Please refer to our financial overview of Capital Educators Federal Credit Union for more details. The credit union is federally insured by the NCUA (Charter # 1040).
How This Reward Checking Compares
The main downside to CapEd's reward checking account is the $10K balance cap. The 2.50% APY is competitive for nationally available reward checking accounts. There are only 2 all-access credit unions that have higher rates and larger balance caps. One is Lake Michigan Credit Union which is offering a 3.00% APY for up to $15,000. The other one is ABCO Federal Credit Union which is offering a 2.52% APY for up to $25,000.
These rates are accurate as of 7/13/2012.
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.