A year ago this week, I wrote about Evansville Teachers Federal Credit Union’s (ETFCU) Vertical Dividend Checking (VDC). To quote myself,
In these uncertain times, the natural instinct is to find something you can control. In the case of DA readers, that translates into finding the best rate possible, along with a rate guarantee. Normally, that would be a CD, but the current CD rates are far from optimal. A good alternative is needed.
In my search for a good nationally available rewards checking account, I set the following requirements in my 2020 blog post:
- An APY/balance cap that generally held steady since at least 2014 and specifically held through a large part of the past zero-bound days.
- A rate hike during the last rising rate cycle.
- A competitive APY prior to 2015/2016.
The VDC, earning 3.30% APY on qualifying balances up to $20k, met those parameters. More importantly, the VDC still meets the parameters.
|3.30%||-||$20k||Evansville Teachers Federal Credit Union||Vertical Checking (Qualifying)|
The Vertical Dividend Checking was added to the product line in late 2014, earning 3.00% APY on qualifying balances up to $15k. In 2019, the rate was increased to 3.30% APY and the balance cap was raised to $20k. No dividends are paid on qualifying balances over $20k or on non-qualifying balances.
The qualifying requirements remain unchanged:
- Have at least 15 debit card purchases.
- Have at least one direct deposit.
- Have at least one Online or Mobile Banking login.
- Be enrolled and receive eStatements.
The Vertical Checking account has no minimum balance requirement or monthly service fee. The opening deposit is $25 and there is a limit of one account per Social Security Number. ATM fees will be reimbursed up to $15 per month, if qualifying requirements are met.
The Vertical Checking is also “the key to an even lower rate on your new loan."
1/8% APR off your new mortgage loan when you set your mortgage loan payments to be automatically paid from your ETFCU checking account.
1/4% APR off any new personal, auto, or recreational vehicle loan when you have ETFCU’s free Vertical Checking or Platinum Rewards Checking.
Evansville Teachers Federal Credit Union’s name would suggest that only teachers are eligible to join. In fact, the Indiana-based ETFCU’s field of membership (FOM) provides a way to join for virtually any US citizen or resident alien.
Employees and members of more than 2,100 SEGs and organizations (including the Evansville Teachers Association, the Evansville Museum, and Gibson County) are eligible to join.
Immediate family (spouse, child, brother, sister, parent, grandparent, or grandchild) or household members of individuals who are membership-eligible also qualify.
The second option on the first page of the online application reads,
I am not eligible through my employer, an organization, or a member of my family or household.
I am willing to donate $5 to the Mater Dei Friends & Alumni Association in order to become eligible for membership.
Joining ETFCU and/or opening a Vertical Checking account can be done online. According to the Corona Virus page, the lobbies of three branches are opening this week, with remaining branch locations available by appointment, which can be scheduled online, or by phone (812.477.9271 or 800.800.9271).
In order to become a member of ETFCU, a regular share
account must be opened with a minimum deposit of $5.
ETFCU belongs to both the CO-OP Shared Branch/ATM network and the Alliance One ATM network, a national network that offers surcharge-free access to nearly 5,000 locations owned by 1,000 financial institutions.
Credit Union Overview
Evansville Teachers Federal Credit Union has an overall health grade of "A" at DepositAccounts.com, with a Texas Ratio of 0.97% (excellent) based on December 31, 2020 data. In the past year, EFTCU has increased its total non-brokered deposits by $495.84 million, an excellent annual growth rate of 37.67%. Please refer to our financial overview of Evansville Teachers Federal Credit Union (NCUA Charter # 1682) for more details.
Evansville Teachers Federal Credit Union is currently the third largest credit union in Indiana, with more than 239,000 members and assets in excess of $2.3 billion. Established in 1936, the founding members were several Evansville teachers who pooled “their savings to generate much needed loans for the fellow workers and themselves.” Membership grew as other educational groups in southwestern Indiana were added to the FOM, and in 1992, the Owensboro (KY) Public Schools Federal Credit Union merged with ETFCU. In November 2018, ETFCU announced that its acquisition of Louisville-based American Founders Bank (AFB) had been finalized. Five AFB branches in Kentucky have been reopened, operating as “Liberty Financial, a division of Evansville Teachers Federal Credit Union.
How the Vertical Checking Compares
When compared to the High Yield RCAs tracked by DepositAccounts.com that are available nationwide and have maximum qualifying balances of at least $20k, Evansville Teachers Federal Credit Union’s Vertical Checking APY currently ranks first (just as it did a year ago).
|Interest Rate||Account Name||Credit Union/Bank|
|3.30% APY||Vertical Checking (up to $20k)||Evansville Teachers Federal Credit Union|
|2.25% APY||Advantage Checking (up to $25k)||Presidential Bank|
|2.00% APY||High Interest Checking (up to $20k)||Elements Financial|
The above information and rates are accurate as of 3/22/2021.
To look for the best Reward Checking Account rates, both nationwide and in your state, please refer to our High Yield Reward Checking Account Rates Table page.