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Competitive Reward Checking Account at Citizens Community Federal in MN, WI and MI

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Citizens Community Federal has a competitive high-yield reward checking account that can be a good deal for many residents of Minnesota, Wisconsin and Michigan. The bank calls the account Freedom Rewards Checking. The bank also has a savings account that links to this checking account, but the savings account rate is disappointing as compared to internet savings accounts. Below is a summary of these two accounts as of 5/8/2014:

DETAILSINSTITUTIONAPYMINMAXPRODUCT
Citizens Community Federal2.00%-$25kFreedom Rewards Checking
Citizens Community Federal0.60%-$50kFreedom Reward Saver
Accounts mentioned in this post. Rates as of July 30, 2014

The following are the Freedom Rewards Checking account rates and ATM fee refund policy if certain monthly requirements are met:

  • 2.00% APY on balances up to $25,000
  • 0.50% APY on balances over $25,000
  • 0.03% APY on entire balance if requirements are not met
  • Nationwide ATM fee refunds (up to $20) per cycle

The following are the Freedom Rewards Saver account rates if certain monthly requirements are met:

  • 0.60% APY on balances up to $50,000
  • 0.50 APY on balances over $50,000
  • 0.03% APY on entire balance if requirements are not met

If the customer wants the Saver account, it must be linked to the Checking account. The monthly requirements for both accounts are the following:

  • 12 debit card purchases
  • log into online banking
  • receive e-Statements

The first box of checks is free for the checking account. Both accounts are free with no monthly service charge. Also, there’s no minimum balance requirements except that both require a minimum initial balance of $25.

Availability

The bank currently does not offer an online application. New accounts must be opened at one of the bank’s branches in Minnesota, Michigan and Wisconsin.

Bank Overview

Citizens Community Federal branches are located in several cities of Minnesota, Wisconsin and Michigan. Most of the branches are in Minnesota and Wisconsin. Some of the cities include Faribault, Oakdale, Winona, Appleton, Eau Claire, Menomonie and Oshkosh. In Michigan, the branches are located in Rochester Hills and Lake Orion which are in the suburbs of Detroit.

Citizens Community Federal was established in 1938 as a credit union. In 2001 it was changed from a federal credit union to a federal savings bank. It’s now a sizable community bank with over $550 million in assets.

The bank has an overall health grade at DepositAccounts.com of an A with a Texas ratio of 6.12% (excellent) based on December 2013 data. Please refer to our financial overview of Citizens Community Federal for more details. The bank has been a FDIC member since 2001 (FDIC Certificate # 57265).

My Take

The 2% for a $25K balance cap is competitive as compared to nationally available reward checking accounts. All of the ones with rates of at least 2% now have balance caps under $25K.

Citizens Community Federal’s Saver account rate of 0.60% disappointing. I like to see these accounts have rates comparable with the top internet savings account. You would be better off just opening one of these internet savings account that pay from 0.90% to 1.00% and link that account to the checking. The one good thing about the Saver account is a large balance cap of $50K. Many of these Saver accounts have low balance caps.


  Tags: Citizens Community Federal, Minnesota, Michigan, Wisconsin, checking account

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