About two years ago, 4Front Credit Union (4Front) introduced its new rewards checking account (RCA), Straight4ward Rewards Checking. The good news is the initial 4.08% APY on qualifying balances up to $15k is still in effect today. The not-so-good news is that balances above $15k and non-qualifying balances earn no interest. The better news is that Straight4ward Rewards Checking account can now be opened online.
In my October 2018 4Front blog post, I stated, “For whatever reason, RCAs have been slow to keep pace in the current rising rates climate, so it’s quite nice to see a new 4%+ RCA.” Two years later, I’m changing that to “for whatever reason, RCAs rate have, for the most part, held steady in the current falling rates climate; I’m glad to see the 4.08% APY is still in effect.”
The monthly qualifying requirements have remained unchanged and include,
- Deposit $500 or more (direct deposit not required)
- Log-in to online/mobile banking one or more times
- Make 15 or more debit card purchases
- Be enrolled in eStatement/eNotifications
The Straight4ward Rewards Checking account has no minimum balance requirement, no monthly service fee, and no minimum opening deposit. Three free third-party ATM transactions are allowed per month, with a $1.50 fee per transaction beyond the three.
Current 4Front members who switch to the new Straight4ward Rewards Checking account can continue to use their existing Mastercard debit card and checks, and
We're awarding you 4.00% (4.08% APY) on your first month's
average daily balance (up to $15,000) automatically!
The Straight4ward Rewards Checking landing page has an FAQ section, which includes some interesting information.
How can I track my qualification status for Straight4ward Rewards?
Log into online/mobile banking to view your tracking widget. In desktop online banking, it’s located on the right side of the account homepage. Within 4FrontGo (our mobile app), you can view the tracking widget after clicking the “MORE” button in the upper right corner.
This is quite helpful because with many RCAs, you don't know if you've qualified until the month is over.
What types of deposits can be utilized to satisfy the $500 minimum monthly deposit requirement?
Direct deposit, automated clearing house (ACH), cash (in-branch or ATM/VideoTeller), and check (in-branch, ATM/VideoTeller and remote deposit anywhere) can be used to meet the $500 per month deposit requirement. Transfers from other 4Front accounts cannot be utilized to satisfy the deposit requirement.
It's quite nice that a direct deposit isn't required and almost any type of deposit can be used to meet the qualification requirement.
Headquartered in Traverse City, Michigan, 4Front Credit Union’s field of membership (FOM) includes all Michigan residents, as well as those who work or conduct business in any of Michigan’s 83 counties.
Since I last wrote about 4Front, an online application has be added, which is a definite improvement over the hard-copy application that had to be notarized and returned by snail-mail.
Joining 4Front and/or opening a Straight4ward Rewards Checking account can be done online, or at any of the 17 northern Michigan branches located in Bellaire, Boyne City, Cadillac, Charlevoix, East Jordan, Kalkaska, Mancelona, Manistee, Petoskey (2), and Traverse City (7).
4Front locations' lobbies have reopened and returned to normal business hours. Please be advised that additional health and safety protocols have been implemented to keep our members and team members safe.
A minimum $1 deposit into a Prime Share account establishes a 4Front membership.
4Front is part of the CO-OP ATM Network, giving members access to nearly 30,000 surcharge-free ATMs across the country.
Credit Union Overview
4Front Credit Union has an overall health grade of "A" at DepositAccounts.com, with a Texas Ratio of 8.34% (excellent) based on September 30, 2020 data. In the past year, 4Front has increased its total non-brokered deposits by $153.84 million, an excellent annual growth rate of 32.64%. Please refer to our financial overview of 4Front Credit Union (NCUA Charter # 61365) for more details.
4Front Credit Union opened its doors for business in January 2015, following the merger of Members Credit Union (Traverse City) and Bay Winds Federal Credit Union (Charlevoix). Members CU and Bay Winds FCU had more than 120 combined years of service to the residents of Northern Michigan. 4Front is currently the 27th largest credit union in Michigan, with more than 88,000 members and assets in excess of $701 million.
How the Straight4ward Rewards Checking Compares
When compared to the High Yield Reward Checking Accounts tracked by DepositAccounts.com, which are available to all Michigan residents and have maximum qualifying balances of at least $15k, 4Front Credit Union’s Straight4ward Rewards Checking APY currently ranks first.
The above rates are accurate as of 12/17/2020.
Looking to open a Reward Checking Account? Please refer to our High Yield Reward Checking Account Rates Table page for both nationwide and state specific accounts.