Lake Michigan Credit Union’s Unique Max Checking and Savings Accounts


Deal Summary: Max Checking, 3.00% APY on qualifying balances up to $15k. Max Savings, 0.80% APY ($250k+), 0.60% APY ($100k+), 0.25% APY ($100+).

Availability: Easy membership requirement

If you have avoided reward checking in the past, you might want to take a look at the Max Checking and Max Savings accounts at Lake Michigan Credit Union (LMCU). The Max Checking is a unique high-yield reward checking account with a long history of a top rate. If you don’t like using debit cards, you can use a cash back credit card to meet the Max Checking requirements. Like all reward checking accounts, Max Checking’s top rate only applies to a small maximum balance ($15k). For those wanting a top rate on a large balance, LMCU offers Max Savings.

Max Checking

LMCU's Max Checking has been earning 3.00% APY on qualifying balances up to $15k for nearly ten years. Qualifying balances over $15k and non-qualifying balances continue to not earn any interest.

3.00%$1$15kLake Michigan Credit UnionMax Checking
Rates as of December 3, 2022.

A year ago, I wrote about LMCU waiving the monthly qualifying requirements for the Max Checking for two months, in an effort to help LMCU members during the initial stages of the COVID-19 pandemic. The monthly qualifying requirements were reinstated in May 2020 and include,

  • Direct deposit into any LMCU account.
  • At least 10 debit/credit card* purchases per month.
  • Minimum 4 logins to home banking each month.
  • Sign up to receive eStatement and eNotices.

*According to CSR, LMCU’s Max Rewards Visa credit card (which offers some nice cash back rewards) can be used to fulfill the monthly qualifying requirements.

The Max Checking account has no monthly fee or minimum opening deposit requirement. Nationwide ATM fees will be reimbursed up to $10 per month, if qualifying requirements are met. LMCU is a member of the Allpoint ATM network, giving members access to more than 55,000 ATMs worldwide. There is a limit of one Max Checking account per Social Security number.

A LMCU review posted by DA reader, curls, points out a shortcoming:

No external bank ACH ability. You can pull and push by going to your other bank and doing it there. It will go through. From the LMCU side, they don't offer it. (Last I checked.) Without free ACHs, I consider it a place to put money and that's about all. They may have a billpay or other way that works well enough.

CSR confirmed that an ACH cannot be initiated from LMCU. As alternative, CSR suggested using LMCU’s Online Bill Pay, which is free to members who have a monthly direct deposit ($5.95 monthly fee if no direct deposit is in place).

On the plus side, curls also mentioned a nice feature offered on Max Checking account.

Get display online of whether you've met monthly requirements. So you never have to count POS debits or guess or forget something silly (like to sign on 4 times.)

Max Savings

LMCU’s Max Savings offers tiered APYs, with balances of $250k+ currently earning 0.80% APY. Unlike a Kasasa Saver that must be linked to a Kasasa Cash account, there’s no connection between Max Savings and Max Checking. In other words, a Max Savings account can be opened as a stand-alone account for those who want to earn a competitive rate on a large balance.

2.25*%$1m-Lake Michigan Credit UnionMax Savings
OTHER TIERS: 0.10% $100 - $100k | 1.00% $100k - $250k | 1.25% $250k - $500k | 1.50% $500k - $1m
Rates as of December 3, 2022.


Headquartered in Grand Rapids, Michigan, Lake Michigan Credit Union’s field of membership (FOM) provides a way to join for almost any US citizen or resident alien.

Easy Membership: A donation ($5 minimum) to the Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis (ALS) Foundation qualifies for membership eligibility. (The donation process is part of LMCU’s online application.)

Residency: Individuals who live, work, or worship anywhere in Michigan’s Lower Peninsula, or anywhere in Florida, are eligible to join.

Relationship: Immediate family members (defined as spouse, parent, child, sibling, or grandparent) of current LMCU members are eligible for membership regardless of where they live.

Joining Lake Michigan Credit Union and/or opening a Max Checking account can be done online, or at any of 46 Michigan branches located in Allendale, Bryon Center (2), Caledonia, Comstock Park, Farmington Hills, Grand Haven, Grand Rapids (16), Holland (2), Hudsonville, Jenison, Kalamazoo (3), Kentwood, Livonia, Lowell, Muskegon, Portage, Ravenna, Rochester Hills, Rockford, Saginaw, Schoolcraft, Traverse City, Troy, White Lake, and Wyoming (2). LMCU also has nine branches in Florida, located in Bonita Springs, Estero, Fort Myers (2), Naples (3), Port Charlotte, and Sun City Center.

All LMCU branches have reopened, while “requiring social distancing from our members and staff, as well as observing all other current Michigan and Florida health and safety guidelines.” Appointments are available and can be scheduled online.

It’s just $5.00 to open a Member Savings account, and if you maintain a
$300 daily balance there are no monthly fees ($5.00/month if you don’t).

Credit Union Overview

Lake Michigan Credit Union has an overall health grade of "A+" at, with a Texas Ratio of 0.60% (excellent) based on December 31, 2020 data. In the past year, LMCU has increased its total non-brokered deposits by $2.24 billion, an excellent annual growth rate of 40.32%. Please refer to our financial overview of Lake Michigan Credit Union (NCUA Charter # 62514) for more details.

Lake Michigan Credit Union was originally founded in 1933 as the Grand Rapids Teachers Credit Union, when 13 teachers pooled their resources for the initial deposit. For more than 25 years, the Credit Union operated out of the home of founding member, Lloyd F. Hutt. The Lake Michigan Credit Union name and logo were adopted in 2002, following 30 years of mergers, consolidations, and expansion. LMCU is currently the largest credit union headquartered in Michigan, with nearly 400,000 members and assets in excess of $9.2 billion.

How the Max Checking Compares

When compared to the High Yield Rewards Checking Accounts tracked by that are available nationwide and have maximum qualifying balances of at least $15k, Lake Michigan Credit Union’s Max Checking APY currently ranks third.

The above information and rates are accurate as of 3/11/2021.

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.

Related Pages: Detroit savings accounts, Flint savings accounts, Tampa savings accounts, Traverse City savings accounts, Grand Rapids savings accounts, Ft. Myers savings accounts, savings accounts, reward checking accounts, nationwide deals


  |     |   Comment #2
Two other things:

1) Applying for membership at LMCU is a hard pull on TransUnion

2) They do not accept new members from California, because they do not comply with the California Consumer Privacy Act
  |     |   Comment #3
Excellent bank! I have been using them for years and am very happy with them! Doing (10) debits each month, direct deposit and sign in a few times for 3% each month is easy! Customer service is great as well. Only suggestion is adding a External Transfer feature so that monies can be transferred to you or vice versa would help.
Lake Michigan Credit Union Waives Requirements On Max Checking
Deal Summary: Max Checking, 3.00% APY on qualifying balances up to $15k, but qualifying requirements are waived for March and April.

Availability: Easy membership requirement

In an effort to help its members during the COVID-19 pandemic, Lake Michigan Credit Union (LMCU) is extending special loan offers and changing normal policies, including waiving the monthly qualifying requirements for the Max Checking Account.

The Max Checking account currently earns 3.00% APY on qualifying balances up to $15k, with qualifying balances over $15k and non-qualifying balances not earning any interest. This account has a...

Continue Reading
Lake Michigan CU (Easy Membership) Raises Rate On 18-month CD
Availability: Easy membership

In December, Lake Michigan Credit Union (LMCU) was offering three VIP CD Specials, including a competitive 12-month CD. The rate on the 12-month VIP CD Special was substantially lowered in the beginning of February, but over the weekend, LMCU raised the rate on its 18-month VIP CD Special (1.40% APY).

The minimum deposit is $500, with no balance cap. The 18-month VIP CD is also available as an IRA (Traditional), earning the same APY with the same funding requirement.

According to CSR, the Early Withdrawal Penalty...

Continue Reading
Lake Michigan CU (Easy Membership) Has Competitive 12-month CD
Availability: Easy membership

Lake Michigan Credit Union (LMCU) is currently featuring three CD Specials: 12-month VIP CD (1.40% APY), 36-month VIP CD (1.65% APY), and 60-month VIP CD (2.00% APY). Of the three, the 12-month VIP CD is the most competitive.

All three VIP CDs are also available as VIP IRAs (Traditional), earning the same APYs with the same funding requirements.

According to CSR, the Early Withdrawal Penalty for CDs with terms less than 12 months is 90 days interest, and 180 days interest for CDs with terms...

Continue Reading
Updated Review of Lake Michigan Credit Union's Max Checking

In the last couple of weeks I've been taking new looks at some of the old reward checking accounts that continue to be good deals and nationally available. Today's updated review is on the reward checking account at Lake Michigan Credit Union (LMCU) which it calls Max Checking. I first reviewed this account in August 2007 when it had a 5% APY. The rate has fallen, but it remains competitive for reward checking accounts. Max Checking has the following rates and features if certain monthly requirements are met (as of...

Continue Reading
Reward Checking Account at a West Michigan CU (Lake Michigan)
Update 10/1/2011: The top rate has fallen to 3.00% APY.

Lake Michigan Credit Union has started a reward checking account it calls Max Checking which pays 3.00% APY on balances up to $15K and refunds up to $15/month in ATM fees if the following monthly requirements are met: 1) 10 debit card purchases, 2) direct deposit, 3) 4 home banking logins, and 4) receive eStatements. There are no fees or minimum balance requirements regardless if the above requirements are met.

The $15K balance cap is not as good as the average reward...

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.