Freedom First introduced its Freedom Stash Checking in 2018 and its initial 5.00% APY on qualifying balances up to $10k is still in effect. Qualifying balances over $10k and up $1 million earn 0.50% APY, with non-qualify balances not earning any interest.
There’s only one monthly qualification requirement to earn 5.00% APY: at least $5k in direct deposit(s). That's it. Monthly direct deposit(s) of at least $1k but less than $5k will result in an APY of only 0.50% on qualifying balances up to $10k.
|5.00*%||-||$10k||Freedom First||Freedom Stash Checking (Monthly DD of 5k+)|
|OTHER TIERS: 0.30% → $10k - $1m|
|0.50*%||-||$10k||Freedom First||Freedom Stash Checking (Monthly DD of 1k+)|
|OTHER TIERS: 0.18% → $10k - $1m|
The Freedom Stash Checking account has no minimum balance requirement or minimum opening deposit requirement. The $9 monthly account fee will be waived with a minimum of $1k in direct deposit(s). (The monthly account fee will be waived for the first two consecutive months after the new account opening, regardless of direct deposit amount during that time.) Free e-Statements are available, with monthly paper statements costing $2 per statement. Unlimited check writing is available and a free debit card will be issued following account opening. Four nationwide ATM fees will be reimbursed per month, if the monthly qualifying requirement is met. There is a limit of one Freedom Stash Checking account per Social Security number.
Freedom First also offers Freedom Cash, which is a cash back account earning 2.00% cash back on debit card purchases up to $1,000 per month, if the monthly $5k direct deposit(s) requirement is met. If you are planning on maintaining a balance of less than $4,800, the Freedom Cash account would probably be a better deal than the Freedom Stash Checking account, as the maximum annual earnings for the Freedom Cash account is $240 ($20 per month).
A Freedom Cash account with monthly direct deposit(s) of at least $1k but less than $5k will earn 2% cash back on debit card purchases of up to $500 ($120 annually, $10 per month).
Headquartered in Roanoke in Southwest Virginia, Freedom First offers membership to individuals who live, work, worship, attend school, or own a business in the Virginia counties of Botetourt, Craig, Franklin, Montgomery, or Roanoke, or the Virginia cities of Radford, Roanoke, Salem, or Vinton.
Family members (child, grandchild, grandparent, parent, sibling, spouse) of current members are also eligible to join.
Joining First Freedom and/or opening a Freedom Stash account can be done online, or in person at any of ten Virginia branches located in Blacksburg, Christiansburg, Daleville, Roanoke (5), Salem, and Vinton. As stated on the Branch Closures page,
Our members can call 540-389-0244 to make an appointment to conduct limited in-person transactions at our branch locations that are drive-thru only until further notice.
The primary share (savings) account with a minimum deposit of $5 is required to establish and maintain a Freedom First membership.
Credit Union Overview
Freedom First has an overall health grade of "A" at DepositAccounts.com, with a Texas Ratio of 3.09% (excellent) based on December 31, 2020 data. In the past year, Freedom First has increased its total non-brokered deposits by $67.4 million, an excellent annual growth rate of 13.24%. Please refer to our financial overview of Freedom First (NCUA Charter # 11111) for more details.
Freedom First was established in 1956 as the Roanoke General Electric Employees Federal Credit Union. The original seven members contributed a total of $40, and the “office” was a drawer in the desk of a plant employee. Seven mergers, three name changes, and one charter change later, Freedom First is currently Virginia’s 17th largest credit union, with more than 57,000 members and assets in excess of $743 million.
How Freedom Stash Checking Compares
When compared to the High Yield Reward Checking Accounts tracked by DepositAccounts.com that are available with the FOM and have maximum qualifying balances of at least $10k, Freedom First’s Freedom Stash Checking APY currently ranks first.
The above information and rates are accurate as of 3/17/2021.
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.