Given the current climate of rate cuts, I have to admit when I saw the newly increased APY for the Platinum Checking account offered by New Jersey-based Garden Savings Federal Credit Union (Garden Savings), I assumed it was an error. Actually, my assumption was wrong: with the addition of 75 bps, the Platinum Checking account now earns 3.00% APY on qualifying balances up to $15k. (It's great to see a rate increase without a balance cap reduction.) Qualifying balances in excess of $15k earn 0.15% APY (down from 0.20% APY), with non-qualifying balances only earning 0.01% APY.
|1.50*%||-||$15k||Garden Savings Federal Credit Union||Platinum Checking|
|OTHER TIERS: 0.15% → $15k+|
- At least 12 POS transactions per month.
- Have either a “direct deposit of regular pay” (payroll/Social Security) or a minimum of one ACH debit per month.
- Be enrolled in eStatements.
The Platinum Checking account has no monthly balance or minimum balance requirement and is fee-free. Unlimited debit card transactions and check writing are available, with new accounts eligible for a free box of checks. Nationwide ATM fees will be reimbursed up to $20 per month, if qualifications are met. There is a limit of one account per Social Security number.
Excess Share Insurance
Deposits at Garden Savings FCU are fully insured up to $500,000: to at least $250,000 by the NCUA and $250,000 by Excess Share Insurance, the nation’s largest provider of excess share insurance since 1993.
Headquartered in Parsippany, New Jersey, Garden Savings Federal Credit Union’s field of membership (FOM) provides a way for almost any U.S. citizen or resident alien, 18 years or older, to join.
Easy Membership – Members of the American Consumer Council (ACC) are eligible to join Garden Savings. ACC can be joined online and any membership fees can be avoided by entering “garden” as your Member Code (located at the bottom of the ACC online application).
Residency – Individuals who live, work, worship, attend school, volunteer, or regularly conduct business in the New Jersey cities of Elizabeth, Newark, or Jersey City qualify for membership.
Employment – Employees, retirees, and volunteers of more than 170 businesses and organizations qualify for membership.
Family Relationship – Immediate family members of current Garden Savings members are eligible to join.
Joining Garden Savings and/or opening a Platinum Checking account can be done online, or at any of four full-service New Jersey branches located in Dover, Newark, Parsippany, and South Orange. There is also a branch in Montville for Marrota Controls employees only.
A Membership Savings account can be opened with a minimum $5 deposit.
Garden Savings has partnered with both the Allpoint and CO-OP ATM networks, as well as the CO-OP Shared Branch network.
We're local — with thousands of branches across the US.
Credit Union Overview
Garden Savings Federal Credit Union has an overall health grade of "A" at DepositAccounts.com, with a Texas Ratio of 8.92% (excellent), based on September 30, 2019 data. In the past year, Garden Savings has increased its total non-brokered deposits by $14.23 million, an excellent annual growth rate of 4.55%. Please refer to our financial overview of Garden Savings Federal Credit Union (NCUA Charter #18710) for more details.
Garden Savings Federal Credit Union is currently New Jersey’s sixth largest credit union, with more than 30,600 members and assets in excess of $375 million. Originally founded in 1968 for the benefit of the employees of AT&T Bell Laboratories (known today as Alcatel-Lucent) employees, Garden Savings expanded their FOM in 1985 to include other SEGs, as well residents of the county seats of Essex, Hudson, and Union Counties, New Jersey. In 2013 and 2014, Garden Savings merged with Morristown FCU, NWNJ FCU, and Essex Division Telephone FCU.
How the Platinum Checking Compares
When compared to the High Yield Rewards Checking Accounts tracked by DepositAccounts.com that are available nationwide and have maximum qualifying balances of at least $15k, Garden Savings Federal Credit Union’s Platinum Checking APY currently ranks fourth.
The above rates are accurate as of 3/3/2020.
To look for the best Reward Checking Account rates, both nationwide and state specific, please refer to DA's High Yield Reward Checking Account Rates Table page.