Great Lakes Credit Union Offers Competitive Companion Money Market


Deal Summary: FREE Checking, 2.50% APY on qualifying balances up to $10k. Companion Money Market, 0.70% APY on qualifying balances greater than $10k.

Availability: Easy membership requirement

Illinois-based Great Lakes Credit Union’s (GLCU) FREE Checking/Companion Money Market combo functions like a rewards checking/saver combo.

FREE Checking

GLCU's rewards checking account, FREE Checking, currently earns 2.50% APY on qualifying balances up to $10k. Qualifying balances over $10k and non-qualifying balances both earn 0.01% APY.

The monthly qualification requirements include,

  • At least 15 signature-based (no PIN) debit card transactions
  • At least one direct deposit ($500 minimum)
  • At least one bill payment OR or one login to Mobile Banking
  • Receive e-Statements

The FREE Checking account has no minimum balance requirement or monthly service fee, and can be opened with minimum $25 deposit. Nationwide ATM fees will be reimbursed up to $10 per month, if qualifying requirements are met. Unlimited checking writing is available ($16.50 fee for 50 starter checks) and a free Instant Issue Visa debit card will be issued following account opening. There is a limit of one account per Social Security number.

Companion Money Market

GLCU’s Companion Money Market (CMM) allows those with large balances to earn a higher APY than is currently offered on most, if not all, online savings accounts.

The details of the CMM are stated in the fine print on the CMM landing page.

Minimum balance to open account is $10,000.

To earn dividends on the CMM, the account must maintain a minimum average daily balance of $10,000 AND meet the conditions to earn the highest rate of our Free Checking account.

If both requirements are met, the entire balance in the account will earn the APY as shown.

If the requirements are NOT met, the balance in the account of $10,000 or more will earn the current rate of lowest tier of the regular Money Market account.

If the balance falls below $10,000, the CMM will not earn dividends.

Annual Earnings of Combined FREE Checking/Companion Money Market

Since the CMM earns 0.70% on qualifying balances above $10k, I opted to use a $50k balance for this example. The potential combined annual earnings of a FREE Checking account (2.50% APY/$10k) and a CMM (0.70% APY/$50k) is approximately $600 (1.00% APY/$60k), which is a competitive APY for a good sized balance in a rewards checking/saver combo.


Headquartered in North Chicago, Great Lakes Credit Union’s field of membership (FOM) provides a way for almost any U.S. citizen/alien resident to join.

Easy Membership Requirement: The very last answer to the online application question, "Which best describes your affiliation with GLCU?" is "Not listed – let us help." By selecting that answer, you qualify for membership in GLCU.

Residency: Anyone who lives or works in the Illinois counties of Cook (west of Route 83), Dupage, Kane, Kendall, Lake, McHenry, or Will, as well as in Kenosha County, Wisconsin, is eligible to join.

Employment: Federal government employees, including active and retired military members qualify for membership, as do the employees of One Summer Chicago, Ball Horticultural, Bremen School District 228, and Morton College.

Affiliation: Members of Teamster Local 705, Teamster Local 705, Lake County Federation of Teachers Local 504, and BAC Administrative District Council 1 of Illinois are also eligible.

Relationship: Relatives of any membership-eligible individuals are welcome to apply.

Joining GLCU and/or opening a Free Checking account and a Companion Money Market account can be done online or at any of 12 Illinois branches located in Antioch, Bolingbrook, Chicago, Country Club Hills, Crystal Lake, Gurnee, Naperville, North Chicago, Round Lake Beach, Waukegan, Woodstock, and Zion.

A $5 minimum deposit in a Share Savings account establishes a GLCU membership.

GLCU participates in the Co-Op Shared Branch network, giving GLCU members access to over 5,000 Credit Union Service Centers across the country.

Through this convenient network, you can perform many of your financial transactions and obtain services at other credit unions and service center locations belonging to the network.

Credit Union Overview

Great Lakes Credit Union has an overall health grade of "A" at, with a Texas Ratio of 2.75% (excellent) based on March 31, 2021 data. In the past year, GLCU has increased its total non-brokered deposits by $122.43 million, an excellent annual growth rate of 17.39%. Please refer to our financial overview of Great Lakes Credit Union (NCUA Charter # 60238) for more details.

Organized in 1938, Great Lakes Credit Union was established for the benefit of the members of Local 167 of the National Federation of Federal Employees. At that time, there was no local financial institution and civil servants were paid in cash. Every payday, GLCU’s Treasurer would set up a desk at the end of the Disbursing Officer’s pay line, collecting deposits and loan payments from members, which in turn were placed in a tin cash box. Eighty-three years later, after charter changes, mergers, and organic growth, GLCU has nearly 81,000 members and assets in excess of $1 billion.

How the FREE Checking Compares

When compared to the High Yield Rewards Checking Accounts tracked by that are available nationally available and have maximum qualifying balances of at least $10k, Great Lakes Credit Union’s FREE Checking APY currently ranks sixth.

To search for the best Reward Checking Account rates, both nationwide and state specific, please refer to our High Yield Reward Checking Account Rates Table page.

How the Companion Money Market Compares

When compared to nationally available Savings Accounts tracked by, Great Lakes Credit Union’s Companion Money Market APY currently ranks first, regardless of minimum balance requirements.

To search for the best Savings Account, both nationwide and state specific, please refer to’s Savings Account Rates page.

The above and rates are accurate as of 7/15/2021.

Related Pages: Chicago money market accounts, money market accounts, reward checking accounts, nationwide deals


7-7-7 Share Certificate ($7k Max) At Great Lakes Credit Union
Deal Summary: 7-month Share Certificate, 7.00% APY, $1k min/$7k max deposit, one certificate per member.

Availability: Easy membership requirement

Now through November 30, 2018, Great Lakes Credit Union (GLCU) is offering a 7-month “7-7-7” Share Certificate, with an outstanding 7.00% APY. The minimum deposit is $1k, with a balance cap of $7k.

This limited-time offer is only available through November 30, 2018 and there is a limit of one certificate per member. GLCU’s President’s Club bonus rates do not apply to the 7-7-7 Share Certificate.

Continue Reading
Great Lakes Credit Union Adds Nationally Available 33-Month CD
Deal Summary: 33-month Special Share Certificate, 3.33% APY, $1k min/$250k max deposit, new money.

Availability: Easy membership requirement

Illinois-based Great Lakes Credit Union (GLCU) is currently offering a 33-month Special Share Certificate, which earns 3.33% APY. The minimum deposit is $1k of new money, and the maximum is $250k.

This limited-time offer may be withdrawn without notice. GLCU’s President’s Club bonus rates do not apply to the 33-month Special Share Certificate.

As stated in the Fee Schedule, the Early Withdrawal Penalty reads as follows:

Continue Reading
Great Lakes Credit Union Has Limited Time 18-Month CD Special

Deal Summary: 18-month Share Certificate Special, 1.50% APY, $1k min, available through March 31, 2017.

Availability: Easy membership requirement

Now through March 31, 2017, Illinois-based Great Lakes Credit Union (GLCU) is offering a 18-month Share Certificate Special (1.50% APY).The minimum deposit is $1k, with no stated balance cap.

GLCU’s President’s Club bonus rates do not apply to the 18-month Share Certificate Special.

According to CSR, the Early Withdrawal Penalty is 182 days of interest.


Headquartered in North Chicago, Great Lakes Credit Union offers membership...

Continue Reading
Great Lakes CU (Easy Membership) Has 15-Month CD Special
Availability: Easy membership

Illinois-based Great Lakes Credit Union’s (GLCU) contribution to the various holiday specials being offered this month is a limited-time 15-month Share Certificate (1.50% APY) .

The minimum deposit is $1K of new money and there is no balance cap. (GLCU’s President’s Club bonus rates do not apply to the 15-month Share Certificate.)

Many thanks to DA reader, marcal, who posted this deal in the Forum.


Headquartered in North Chicago, Great Lakes Credit Union offers membership through a variety of methods.

Continue Reading
Update on Great Lakes Credit Union's Reward Checking Account

I first reviewed Great Lakes Credit Union (GLCU) and its reward checking account (called Ultimate Checking) in 2011. The rate has remained the same, but the balance cap has gone down. Nevertheless, it remains a competitive reward checking account. When I first reported on this credit union, it appeared to be mostly a local deal for those in parts of Illinois and Wisconsin. There now appears to be a way for anyone to qualify for membership. Before I review the membership eligibility, below is a summary of the rates and...

Continue Reading

More Past Offers

The financial institution, product, and APY (Annual Percentage Yield) data displayed on this website is gathered from various sources and may not reflect all of the offers available in your region. Although we strive to provide the most accurate data possible, we cannot guarantee its accuracy. The content displayed is for general information purposes only; always verify account details and availability with the financial institution before opening an account. Contact [email protected] to report inaccurate info or to request offers be included in this website. We are not affiliated with the financial institutions included in this website.