In yesterday’s blog post about Rewards Checking Accounts (RCA), one of the RCAs featured was the Market USA Federal Credit Union (Market USA) VIP Free Checking (Platinum Tier). I last wrote about the VIP Free Checking in 2018 and the rate at that time is still in effect today: 3.01% APY on qualifying balances up to $15k. Qualifying balances above $15k earn the “APY paid on regular checking accounts,” which is currently 0.05% APY.
|3.01*%||-||$15k||Market USA Federal Credit Union||VIP Checking Platinum Tier|
|OTHER TIERS: 0.01% → $15k+|
The VIP Free Checking account has been part of Market USA’s product line since 2009. When I first wrote about the VIP Free Checking’s Platinum Tier in 2009, it offered 4.00% APY on balances up to $50k. It became a two-tier account in early 2011, with the second tier offering a higher rate if a minimum of three monthly bill payments were completed. In late 2011, the top yield fell first to 3.00% and then to 2.00%, with the balance cap plummeting from $50k to $15k in 2013. The yield remained at 2.00% until August 2017, when it increased to 3.01% APY.
Monthly Qualification Requirements
- At least $250 in monthly direct deposit
- At least 12 debit card purchases (minimum $5 each)
- At least three bill payments (minimum $20 each)
- Be enrolled in eStatements
The VIP Checking account has no minimum balance requirement, no monthly maintenance fee, or per check charge. There is a limit of one VIP Checking account per primary account owner/Social Security number. While there is no reimbursement for foreign ATM fees, Market USA is a member of the CO-OP network, giving its members access to more than 30,000 surcharge-free ATMs nationwide.
The VIP Checking landing page explains that there are,
Eight free monthly transactions at CO-OP, Alliance One, Plus®, and Star® ATMs with Direct Deposit of $500+.
The eight transactions include deposits, withdrawals, transfers, and inquiries. There is a $1 fee for each transaction after the first eight.
Market USA offers a Mobile App with Mobile Check Deposit, but according to the fine print on the VIP Checking landing page, it is only available when the following conditions are met:
Membership must be established for at least 90 days; checking account must be opened for at least 30 days; account must be in good standing; primary account holder must be at least 13 years of age.
Headquartered in Laurel, Maryland, Market USA Federal Credit Union’s field of membership (FOM) provides a route to membership for almost any U.S. citizen or resident alien.
Easy Membership: Membership in the Market USA Cares Foundation (minimum $5 donation) qualifies for Credit Union membership. “Market USA Cares Foundation is a 501(c)(3) organization that assists charities supported by partners of Market USA FCU and local organizations in communities where Market USA FCU members live.”
Residency: Residents of Georgia, North Carolina, South Carolina, and Tennessee are eligible to join Market USA through the Carolina Chapter of the American Consumer Council (ACC). Residents of Maryland, Pennsylvania, Virginia, Washington D.C., and West Virginia can qualify for Market USA membership by joining the Maryland ACC Chapter. By selecting either ACC Carolina Chapter or ACC Maryland Chapter in the "Membership Eligibility" section of the online application, you will become a member of ACC at no cost to you.
Family Relationship: Immediate family (spouse, children, parents, grandparents, grandchildren, siblings) or household members of existing Market USA members are also welcome to apply.
- The Laurel (MD) branch has re-opened its lobby for walk-in transactions.
- The Hyattsville (MD) branch lobby is open by appointment only.
- The Greenville (SC) branch lobby is temporarily closed, but the drive-thru remains open.
If joining Market USA FCU through the Market USA Cares Foundation,
your initial deposit will be at least $10; $5 of which will be a foundation (charity) donation.
Market USA participates in both the CO-OP Shared Branch and ATM networks.
With 30,000 surcharge-free ATMs and 5,000 Shared Branches, Market USA is always just around the corner.
Credit Union Overview
Market USA Federal Credit Union has an overall health grade of "B+" at DepositAccounts.com, with a Texas Ratio of 5.14% (excellent) based on December 31, 2019 data. Market USA has an excellent capitalization level (22.14%), the result of holding assets of $114.16 million with $25.27 million in equity. Please refer to our financial overview of Market USA Federal Credit Union (NCUA Charter # 9003) for more details.
Market USA Federal Credit Union was originally established in 1953 as Giant Food Department Stores Federal Credit Union. In the past 67 years, the Credit Union has gone through three name changes, three mergers, and a FOM expansion, resulting in a significant presence throughout the Southeast. Market USA currently has more than 18,400 members and assets in excess of $114 million.
How VIP Checking Compares
When compared to the nationally available High Yield Rewards Checking Accounts tracked by DepositAccounts.com that have maximum qualifying balances of at least $15k, Market USA Federal Credit Union’s VIP Checking Platinum Tier APY* currently ranks fourth.
The above rates are accurate as of 7/1/2020.
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.
*We continue to work to keep our rates up-to-date, but there have been just too many rate cuts for us to process quickly. For the time being, please be aware that the rates listed at DepositAccounts.com may not reflect the latest rates published by the banks and credit unions.
General opinions on reward checking: Please avoid comments expressing general reward checking complaints. To discuss and debate the pros and cons of reward checking, please refer to this reward checking blog post.