First Community Credit Union (First Community CU) has been offering its rewards checking account, First Rate Checking, for more than eleven years. The First Rate Checking currently earns 2.01% APY on qualifying balances up to $25k. Qualifying balances greater than $25k and non-qualifying balances both earn 0.15% APY.
When DA began tracking the First Rate Checking account in November 2009, it earned 4.01% APY. A series of four rate decreases began early 2010, with the APY settling at 1.00% in late 2014; that rate was in effect for more than two years. There were two rate increases (totaling 201 bps), boosting the rate up to 3.01% APY in November 2018. The current 2.01% APY has been in effect since April 2020.
The monthly qualification requirements are comprised of,
- At least 25 debit card purchases
- At least one direct deposit, ACH credit or ACH payment transaction
- Be enrolled in and agree to receive E-Statements
The First Rate Checking account has no minimum balance requirement, no monthly service fee, and no minimum opening deposit requirement. Unlimited check writing is available and temp and cashier’s checks are free. A fee-free Visa debit card will be issued after account opening. Unlimited nationwide ATM fees up to a monthly aggregate of $25 will be reimbursed, if all qualifying requirements are met. There is a limit of one First Rate Checking account per Social Security number.
First Rate Checking account holders are also eligible for 0.25% discount* on consumer loans and a $350 discount** mortgage closing costs.
*Offer valid for checking account holders with direct deposit only. Rates, terms and conditions subject to change. Loan subject to credit approval. Not valid with any other offer. Offer does not include refinances on First Community loans or first mortgage loans. Offer of .25% APR discount valid on one consumer loan per calendar year.
**Mortgages available to Missouri & Illinois residents only. Offer valid for checking account holders with direct deposit only. Rates, terms and conditions subject to change. Loan subject to credit approval. Not valid with any other offer. Offer does not include refinances on First Community loans. One $350.00 discount per mortgage loan per calendar year.
The Cashback Checking account offered by First Community CU currently earns 1.00% cash back on debit card purchases up to $1,000 in monthly purchases. If you are planning on maintaining a balance of less than $6,000, the Cashback Checking account would probably be a better deal than the First Rate Checking account, as the maximum annual earnings for the Cashback Checking account is $120 ($10 per month).
Competitive Long-Term CD Rates
First Community CU has a long history of offering competitive long-term CD rates. They were most competitive in early 2019 when I wrote about First Community CU's 72-month and 60-month terms. Here's an excerpt from that 2019 blog post:
The 3.75% APY is the highest rate offered on the 72-month CD in almost ten years. In the past year, a total of 185 bps were added to this long-term CD. For those who feel uncertain about interest rates over the next couple of years, long-term CDs with competitive rates may offer safe harbor.
Those who opened that 72-month CD in 2019 probably feel it's a safe harbor this year. First Community CU's current long-term CD rates are still fairly competitive, but they are nowhere close to where they were just over two years ago.
Headquartered in Chesterfield, Missouri, First Community Credit Union's field of membership (FOM) is residency based, with individuals who live or work in the Missouri counties of Franklin, Jefferson, St. Charles, St. Louis and Warren, and the southwest Illinois counties of Madison, Monroe, and St. Clair, eligible for membership.
Individuals who live or work in the City of St. Louis are also eligible. While the City of St. Louis borders on St. Louis County, it is an independent city and not part of St. Louis County or any other Missouri county.
Immediate family and household members of current First Community CU members and membership-eligible individuals also qualify for membership. Immediate family is generously defined as “spouse, child, sibling, parent, grandparent, grandchild, aunt, uncle, niece, nephew, first cousin or legal guardian and includes step, in-law and legally adoptive relationships.”
Joining First Community CU and/or opening a First Rate Checking/Cashback Checking account can be done online or at any of 30 Missouri branches located in Arnold (2), Bridgeton, Chesterfield, Cottleville, Creve Coeur, Des Peres, Ellisville, Eureka, Fenton, Festus, Florissant (2), High Ridge, Lake Saint Louis, Manchester, Maplewood, O’Fallon (2), Richmond Heights, St. Charles (2), St. Louis (4), St. Peters, Warrenton, Washington, and Wentzville. First Community also has eight Illinois branches, which are located in Belleville, Collinsville, Fairview Heights, Glen Carbon (2), Godfrey, Granite City, and Waterloo.
Opening a Share Savings account establishes a First Community CU membership and requires a minimum $1 opening deposit.
First Community CU participates in the CO-OP ATM network, but not the Shared Branch network.
Credit Union Overview
First Community Credit Union has an overall health grade of "A" at DepositAccounts.com, with a Texas Ratio of 2.32% (excellent), based on March 31, 2021 data. In the past year, First Community CU increased its total non-brokered deposits by $731.47 million, an excellent annual growth rate of 28.81%. Please refer to our financial overview of First Community Credit Union (NCUA Certificate # 67619) for more details.
First Community Credit Union was founded in 1934 as the Monsanto Credit Union, with a FOM inclusive of Monsanto employees in Missouri and Illinois. The FOM began to expand and diversify in the late 1970s, with the First Community rebrand occurring 1983. First Community Credit Union is currently the largest credit union in Missouri, with more than 353,000 members and assets in excess of $3.6 billion.
How First Rate Checking Compares
When compared to the High Yield Rewards Checking Accounts tracked by DepositAccounts.com that are available within the FOM and have maximum qualifying balances of at least $25k, First Community Credit Union’s First Rate Checking APY currently ranks fifth.
The above information and rates are accurate as of 6/19/2021.
To look for the best Reward Checking Account rates, both nationwide and state specific, please refer to our High Yield Reward Checking Account Rates Table page.