Essential Federal Credit Union (Essential FCU) recently raised the rate on its rewards checking account, Key Checking, to 3.00% APY on qualifying balances up to $10k. Qualifying balances greater than $10k earn 0.30% APY; non-qualifying balances do not earn any interest.
The Key Checking account has been part of the Essential FCU product line for nearly seven years. The initial 2.50% APY was in effect for more than four years before it was raised to 3.00% APY in early 2019. The APY was lowered to 2.50% about a year ago, where it remained until this week’s addition of 50 bps.
The monthly qualification requirements include,
- At least 10 VISA Check card transactions
- At least one direct deposit or Bill Payment using ebanking
- Be enrolled in eStatements
The Key Checking account has no minimum balance requirement or monthly service fee, and can be opened with a minimum $5 deposit. Unlimited check writing is available and a fee-free VISA Check card will be issued after account opening. Unlimited nationwide ATM fees will be reimbursed up to $20 per month (up to $5 per single transaction), if all qualifying requirements are met. There is a limit of one Key Checking account per Social Security number.
Headquartered in Baton Rouge, Louisiana, Essential Federal Credit Union’s field of membership (FOM) is residency-based, with individuals who live, work, worship, or attend school in the Louisiana parishes of Ascension, East Baton Rouge, East Feliciana, Iberville, Livingston, Pointe Coupee, St. Helena, West Baton Rouge, or West Feliciana eligible to join.
Opening and maintaining a minimum $5 balance in a Savings Account is required to be an Essential FCU member in good-standing.
Credit Union Overview
Essential Federal Credit Union has an overall health grade of "A" at DepositAccounts.com, with a Texas ratio of 1.77% (excellent), based on March 31, 2021 data. In the past year, Essential FCU has increased its total non-brokered deposits by $53.66 million, an excellent annual growth rate of 20.35%. Please refer to our financial overview of Essential Federal Credit Union (NCUA Charter # 20972) for more details.
Essential Federal Credit Union was established in 1972 as the Dow Louisiana Federal Credit Union, with a FOM exclusive to the employees of Dow Chemical’s Iberville and West Baton Rouge plants. The FOM expanded in 2009 to include the residents of several Acadiana and Florida parishes, with the “Essential” rebrand occurring in 2015. Essential Federal Credit Union is currently the 13th largest credit union headquartered in Louisiana, with nearly 41,000 members and assets in excess of $362 million.
How Key Checking Compares
When compared to the High Yield Reward Checking Accounts tracked by DepositAccounts.com that are available within the FOM and have maximum qualifying balances of at least $10k, Essential Federal Credit Union’s Key Checking APY currently ranks fourth.
The above information and rates are accurate as of 7/8/2021.
Looking for the best Reward Checking Account rates, either nationwide or state-specific? Please refer to our High Yield Reward Checking Account Rates Table page.