In today’s interest rate environment, the vast majority of rate changes have been cuts. When there’s a rate hike, it’s noteworthy, and that’s the case at INOVA Federal Credit Union. The rate of its high-yield reward checking account (called Ovation Checking) increased from 2.00% to 3.00% APY for balances up to $20,000. This checking account yield had been 2% APY for the last year. Thanks to the DA reader pearlbrown who mentioned this change in the discussion forum.
The other features of the Ovation Checking account have remained the same. Below is a summary of the rates and features as listed in the credit union’s Ovation Checking page. The account pays 3.00% APY on balances up to $20,000 (0.30% over) if the following monthly requirements are met:
- 3.00% APY for balances up to $20,000 if requirements are met
- 0.15% APY for portion of balances over $20,000 if requirements are met
The monthly requirements to qualify for the above rates:
- 15 signature-based debit card purchases
- Direct Deposit $200 or more
- $1,500 minimum balance
Unlike most reward checking accounts, there doesn't seem to be any ATM fee refunds. Free ATMs are available at Alliance One or CO-OP network ATMs across the nation. Note, there's a $1.75 fee for not only at foreign ATMs but also for making PIN-based debit card purchases.
There’s an online application that can be used to join the credit union and to open the Ovation Checking. Note, DA reader dunker reported an issue when he tried to apply online. The application appeared to have required a $20,000 minimum initial deposit. However, this might be a glitch in the online application. A CSR informed me that the savings account has a minimum deposit of $20 and checking has no minimum balance required to start the account. She said if you have any problems with the application, contact the credit union for help.
Update: The credit union’s board of directors made the decision that they will no longer open up new membership to individuals residing in Pennsylvania.
Another nice aspect of INOVA FCU is that it’s one of the all-access credit unions that makes it easy for everyone to join. You can see this in the online application. To access the online application, click the "Join Today" link at the top right of the credit union’s main navigation menu. In this application, one of the options for eligibility listed in this application includes:
You may elect to join the Elkhart River Restoration Association which is a not for profit organization.
For other ways to qualify for membership, please refer to the credit union’s Become-a-Member page.
Credit Union Overview
Branches are located in the Indiana cities of Elkhart, Michigan City, Mishawaka and Granger. Other branches are located in Berkeley, California; Tarrytown, New York; Orange, Connecticut; Clayton, North Carolina; and Morristown and Wayne, New Jersey. It's also part of the Credit Union Service Center which allows you to perform basic transactions at branches of other credit unions around the nation.
According to the credit union's About page:
Established in 1942, INOVA FCU was originally chartered to serve the employees of Miles Laboratories.
According to Wikipedia
Miles operated as an independent firm from 1884 until 1979 and as a wholly-owned subsidiary of Bayer AG from 1979 until 1995, when it was consolidated into the parent corporation.
The credit union has an overall health score at DepositAccounts.com of 4 stars (out of 5) with a Texas ratio of 10.22% (above average) based on December 2012 data. Please refer to our financial overview of INOVA Federal Credit Union for more details.
How This Reward Checking Compares
For a balance cap of at least $20K, INOVA FCU’s Ovation Checking has the highest rate that’s nationally available. You can get 3.25% APY at Belvoir Federal Credit Union, but this is capped at $15K. You can also get 4.00% APY at Great Lakes Credit Union. However, the balance cap is only $10K. These rates are accurate as of 6/5/2013.
To find reward checking accounts in other areas of the nation, please refer to the reward checking section of DepositAccounts.com. To learn more about reward checking, please refer to this reward checking overview.