Illinois-based Consumers Credit Union debuted its Smart Saver account about two years ago. The initial 2.00% APY lasted about eight months before it was lowered to 1.50% APY in May 2020. As you might expect from such a competitive rate, there's an important limitation, a maximum monthly deposit of $1k. On the plus side, there's no limit on the total balance that can be accumulated. Thus, the Smart Saver account has the potential to become a major interest earner over the long run (assuming the rate remains competitive.)
|1.50%||$50||-||Consumers Credit Union (IL)||Smart Saver w/ Checking|
|0.25%||-||-||Consumers Credit Union (IL)||Smart Saver w/o Checking|
According to the TIS disclosure, the following monthly qualifications must be met to earn the stated APY.
a) deposits totaling at least $50.00 into the account;
b) maximum aggregate deposit per month is $1,000.00, however there is no restriction on the total balance (can accumulate);
c) ACH direct deposits or remotely deposited checks totaling at least $500.00 into any non-IRA checking account with the same primary owner (membership); and
d) must be enrolled in eStatements.
The minimum opening deposit is only $5 and there is a limit of one Smart Saver account per membership. Any funds in excess of the $1k deposit limit will be transferred to a Membership Savings account (0.03% APY). The Smart Saver is definitely a long-term savings account: the fine print on the Smart Saver landing page reads,
Smart Saver rate will drop to .25%APY if a withdrawal occurs
during the month or minimum qualifications per month are not met.
Free Rewards Checking
Consumers Credit Union’s most popular account is the Free Rewards Checking account, which can be used to meet the Smart Saver’s checking relationship requirement.
About 15 months ago, the rates for the tiered APYs dropped by 100 bps, with some minor, but advantageous, changes made to the qualifying requirements. For more details on the Free Rewards Checking account, please refer to my May 7, 2020 blog post.
Competitive CD Rates
For large deposits, Consumers Credit Union often has very competitive rates on its Jumbo and Super Jumbo Certificates. Currently, its 20-month Certificates have the most competitive rates. For CD details, please refer to my March 5, 2021 blog post.
Headquartered in Gurnee, Illinois, Consumers Credit Union's field of membership (FOM) includes virtually all U.S. citizens and resident aliens who have a valid Social Security number, regardless of residency or employment status.
CCU's FOM is one of the easiest "easy membership requirement" FOMs. According to CCU’s Membership Page, establishing a membership is a simple, two-step process:
Pay a one-time, non-refundable $5 fee to our sponsor, the Consumers Cooperative Association, and then deposit and maintain a minimum $5 in your Membership Share/Savings Account.
Joining CCU and/or opening a Smart Saver account can be done online, or at any of the ten full-service Illinois branches, located in Gurnee*, Kildeer, Mundelein, Northbrook, North Waukegan*, Palatine, Round Lake Beach, Schaumberg, Streamwood, Volo, and Waukegan. The Des Plaines branch is temporarily closed until further notice.
*The Gurnee and North Waukegan branch lobbies are open by appointment only.
As stated on CCU’s Locations and Hours page,
Most of our branch lobbies are now open, though some require appointments. Select your location to view branch specific hours and options.
CCU also participates in the CU Service Centers® Network.
We are part of an international group of credit unions called the CU Service Centers® Network, which provides you with additional service centers where you can take care of your banking needs. Financial transactions and other services are available at any of the credit unions and self-service locations that are part of this network.
You may have issues conducting shared branching transactions at other credit unions due to lobby and/or full office closures. Please call ahead prior to visiting other credit union shared branching locations to confirm service availability and hours.
Credit Union Overview
Consumers Credit Union (IL) has an overall health grade of "A" at DepositAccounts.com, with a Texas Ratio of 3.68% (excellent) based on March 31, 2021 data. In the past year, CCU has increased its total non-brokered deposits by $1.24 billion, an excellent annual growth rate of 108.02%. Please refer to our financial overview of Consumers Credit Union (NCUA Charter # 68588) for more details.
Consumer Credit Union is currently the fifth largest credit union headquartered in Illinois, with nearly 180,000 members and assets in excess of $2.7 billion. Chartered in May 1930 as Consumers Cooperative Credit Union, the Credit Union had 32 shareholders, $367 in assets, and three outstanding loans ($225 total) at the end of 1930. The “Cooperative” in the original name was a nod to the Cooperative Trading Company of Waukegan, a local dairy cooperative.
Did you know Consumers Cooperative Credit Union was one of the first credit unions to apply for federal share insurance in February 1971?
On October 19, 1970, President Nixon signed Senate Bill S.3822 into law, thus creating a National Credit Union Share Insurance Fund which would cover members savings up to $20k per account.
The 68-page “History Report” on the Credit Union’s website contains more information about CCU than you can imagine. If Jeopardy ever features a “Consumers Credit Union” category, having read this document would be invaluable.
How the Smart Saver Compares
Given the Smart Saver’s deposit limitations and required checking relationship, it’s just about impossible to find a pool of “similar” savings accounts on which to base a comparison. The following table is strictly based on APYs, with no special conditions taken into account.
When compared to the nationally available Savings Accounts tracked by DepositAccounts.com, Consumers Credit Union’s Smart Saver APY currently ranks first.
|Interest Rate||Account Name||Credit Union/Bank|
|1.50% APY||Smart Saver||Consumers Credit Union|
|0.65% APY||OneConnection Savings||ConnectOne Bank|
|0.61% APY||High-Yield Savings||Ivy Bank|
The above information and rates are accurate as of 8/20/2021.
To search for the best Savings Account, both nationwide and state specific, please refer to DepositAccounts.com’s Savings Account Rates page.