The start of a new month seems to be a popular time to add new product line items. First Service Credit Union (First Service) began December by introducing its High Yield Checking account, which earns 2.25% APY on qualifying balances up to $20k. Qualifying balances of $20k+ earn 0.30% APY, with non-qualifying balances earning 0.01% APY. The High Yield Checking account replaces First Service’s Right Rewards Checking account.
Note: At this time, there is a misprint on the High Yield Checking promo page, which could lead to some confusion. Three rates are listed for the High Yield Checking account, the third of which reads,
0.25% APY on qualifying balances up to $20,000
My first reaction was “huh?” CSR confirmed that statement is an error and is in the process of being corrected.
- At least one Direct Deposit ($500 minimum) per statement cycle.
- At least 10 signature-based debit card purchases per statement cycle.
- Receive e-Statements.
The High Yield Checking account has no minimum balance requirement and while there is no monthly service per se, there is a $3 monthly processing fee if e-Statements are NOT utilized. Nationwide ATM fees will be refunded up to $4 per transaction, “not to exceed a cumulative limit of $12 per month.”
Headquartered in Houston, First Service Credit Union membership eligibility is both residency and employment based.
Residency: Individuals who live, work, worship, or attend school in the Texas counties of Harris and Waller are eligible to join.
Employment: Employees of over 140 SEGs, including KBR, Halliburton, CenterPoint, and Baker Hughes, are eligible for membership.
Joining First Service and/or opening a High Yield Checking account can be done online, or at any of eleven Texas branches located in Bellaire, Brookshire, Cypress, Houston (6), Katy, and The Woodlands.
Credit Union Overview
First Service Credit Union (NCUA Charter # 68605) has an overall health grade of "A" at DepositAccounts.com, with a Texas ratio of 6.26% (excellent), based on June 30, 2016 data. In the past year, First Service has increased its total deposits by $16.8 million, an excellent annual growth rate of 3.31%. Please refer to our financial overview of First Service Credit Union for more details.
Today’s First Service Credit Union can trace its roots to the Brownbuilder Federal Credit Union, which opened its doors in 1978 as a credit union for Brown & Root employees. Brownbuilder FCU became Right Choice Credit Union in 2005 - a name that better reflected a new charter and strategic direction. In 2010, Right Choice CU merged with the original First Service Credit Union, assuming its field of membership, all assets, and its name. First Service currently has over 58,000 members and assets in excess of $597 million.
How High Yield Checking Compares
When compared to the 32 High Yield Reward Checking Accounts tracked by DepositAccounts.com, which are available within the greater Houston metropolitan area and have maximum qualifying balances of at least $20k, First Service Credit Union’s High Yield Checking APY currently ranks fourth.
|Interest Rate||Account Name||Credit Union/Bank|
|4.59% APY||Free Rewards Checking - High ($20k max)||Consumers Credit Union|
|3.00% APY||Rewards Checking ($20k max)||Chemcel Federal Credit Union|
|2.50% APY||Cash Rewards High Interest Checking ($25k max)||Mid-Illini Credit Union|
|2.25% APY||High Yield Checking ($20k max)||First Service Credit Union|
The above rates are accurate as of 12/2/2016.