Five years ago, Elements Financial launched its Helium Savings account, with an initial 1.00% APY (a competitive rate at the time). The 1.00% APY lasted about six months before the rate began to slip, finally settling at 0.55% APY. While many nationally available savings account rates climbed significantly in the past two years, the Helium Savings rate never increased beyond its current 1.30% APY.
If you’re wondering why I’m touting a 1.30% APY, I’m not: Elements Financial is currently offering a promotional 2.10% APY on the Helium Savings that’s guaranteed for a year, following account opening.
The minimum opening deposit to earn the stated APY is $2.5k, with a maximum deposit of $250k. New money is required and is defined as funds not on deposit at Elements Financial within 90 days of account opening. Existing Helium Savings account holders do not qualify for this promotion. An average daily balance of $2.5k is required to earn the 2.10% APY; balances below $2.5k do not earn any interest. Following the one-year promotional period, the rate will "reset to the then current Helium Savings rate and may change without notice."
While there is no monthly maintenance/service fee, there is a monthly $5 Inactive Relationship fee “if no activity has occurred for at least 12 months.” The Helium Savings account has no debit card or check writing privileges. There is no fee for exceeding the six withdrawals/transfers allowed by statement cycle, but as stated in the Truth-in-Savings Truth-in-Savings disclosure,
If you exceed the transfer limitations in any statement period,
your account will be subject to closure by the credit union.
High Interest Checking
The rate on the High Interest Checking account was raised in July, with qualifying balances up to $20k earning 3.00% APY. Qualifying balances over $20k earn 0.10% APY, with non-qualifying balances earning 0.05% APY.
In 2012, the High Interest Checking earned 4.00% APY, but only on qualifying balances up to $1k. While the rate was lowered to 2.00% APY in 2016, the qualifying balance cap was raised to $20k, increasing the potential annual earnings tenfold. The most recent rate increase adds an additional $200 to the potential annual earnings.
There are only two qualifying requirements:
- 15 qualifying transactions per statement cycle, including all debit card purchases, checks, bill payments, ATM withdrawals, and ACH withdrawals.
- Minimum average daily balance of $100
The High Interest Checking account has no minimum opening deposit requirement. The first 50 checks are provided for free and there is unlimited check writing. The $5 monthly maintenance fee will be waived if eStatements are received.
Headquartered in Indianapolis, Elements Financial offers a way for almost any U.S. citizen or resident alien to join through Tru Direction, Inc., a not-for-profit organization dedicated to improving financial literacy. Joining Tru Direction, Inc., with a one-time $5 membership fee, qualifies for membership in Elements Financial.
Employees, students, retirees or members of Eli Lilly & Company and more than 130 other organizations are eligible for membership.
Immediate family members (spouse, child, sibling, parent, grandparent, grandchild, step- and adoptive relationships) and household members (shared residence and income) of membership-eligible individuals also qualify for membership.
The Membership Application is also available as a download, and can be returned by mail or in person at any of the above mentioned branch locations.
During the application process, we will open you an Elements savings account (that’s the part that makes your membership official). We’ll even put $5 in to get you started — no need to transfer funds from an existing account!.
Elements Financial is a part of both the CO-OP Shared Branch and ATM networks.
We have a global footprint. We serve members in all 50 states and 50 countries. Through the credit union shared branch and ATM network, we provide access to 5,000+ shared branches nationwide and 78,000+ surcharge-free ATMs globally.
Credit Union Overview
Elements Financial has an overall health grade of "A" at DepositAccounts.com, with a Texas Ratio of 1.63% (excellent) based on June 30, 2019 data. In the past year, Elements Financial has increased its total non-brokered deposits by $101.5 million, an excellent annual growth rate of 8.03%. Please refer to our financial overview of Elements Financial (NCUA Charter # 22468) for more details.
Elements Financial was established in 1976 as the Eli Lilly Credit Union, for the benefit for the employees of Eli Lilly & Company. (Known today as Lilly, it was the first company to mass-produce penicillin, insulin, and the Salk polio vaccine.) It’s been more than four years since the Elements Financial re-brand, which was done “to embrace the growth and diversification of our membership.” Elements Financial is currently the fourth largest credit union headquartered in Indiana, with more than 110,000 members and assets in excess of $1.6 billion.
How the Helium Savings Promo Compares
When compared to 233 nationally available Savings Accounts tracked by DepositAccounts.com that do not require a large minimum balance, Elements Financial’s Helium Savings Promo APY currently ranks eighth. The one-year rate guarantee only enhances the APY’s competitiveness.
The above rates are accurate as of 10/10/2019.
To search for the best Savings Accounts rates, either nationwide or state-specific, please refer to DA’s Savings Account Rates page.