High-Yield Reward Checking Account at an IN/KY/IL Credit Union (MidWest America)
Update 3/3/11: The top rate is now 2.51% APY for up to $15K. Refer to the bottom of the post for the rate history.
Update 10/30/08: Membership in the credit union is no longer available nationwide. See below for more details.
MidWest America Federal Credit Union has a reward checking account that pays 2.51% APY for balances up to $15,000 (0.76% for over) and refunds ATM fees (up to $25/month) if the following monthly requirements are met: 1) 10 debit card purchases, 2) one ACH transaction, and 3) register and receive e-statements. If these are not met the rate falls to 0.11%. There are no monthly maintenance fees.
Membership is open to anyone who lives, works, worships or attends school in the Allen County Investment Area of Fort Wayne, Indiana, or in the Illinois counties of Vermilion or Coles, or in the underserved areas of the Kentucky counties of Allen, Barren or Monroe. You can also be eligible via Select Employee Groups. Please see their Membership page for the full details. Membership requires a minimum deposit of $5 into the Regular Savings account.
Branches are located in the Indiana cities of Fort Wayne, New Haven, Columbia City, Huntington and Decatur, in the Illinois cities of Charleston, Danville and Mattoon, and in the Kentucky cities of Hopkinsville and Scottsville. The credit union is federally insured by the NCUA (Charter # 1427). It has $340.9 million in assets and 66,862 members.
Update 10/30/08: The credit union has added an additional condition to membership for those who are members of the Allen County Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (SPCA). As specified in the field of membership list, SPCA members must also live within 100 miles of one of the 17 MidWest America branches.
Update 7/15/08: It appears anyone can qualify for credit union membership by becoming a member of the Allen County Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (SPCA). In the Field of Membership list this society is included with the note [Employees, Volunteers & Members]. I sent an email to the credit union asking to confirm if members in addition to employees and volunteers of the Allen County SPCA qualify for credit union membership. I also asked if membership and the reward checking account can be opened by mail. Here is the response:
Yes you are correct, either by volunteering or being employed with the SPCA will qualify you for membership.
There is an online Application for membership along with other printable forms such as A.R.T and CUA which is necessary to signup for if opening the Reward Checking.
You may do all this by mail, however your signature will need to be notarized. Also copies of your drivers license and social security card will need to accompany the membership application.
You will also need to send in the $5.00 Share deposit for the membership with MidWest America FCU which will remain on hold in the account until such a time you choose to close the account.
Yes the reward checking may also be opened by mail.
Here's the Allen County SPCA website. An individual membership costs $25, and it can be done online with payment via PayPal or a major credit card. Update 7/28/08: Readers have reported being told by the credit union that you can complete their membership application and mail it in with $25 (specify $5 for a FCU savings account and $20 to sponsor a membership with the Allen County SPCA.)
In the credit union membership's page it states "Once you have become a member, you are a member for life!" As is common with all credit unions, once you qualify for membership via an association, you don't have to remain a member of that association to retain credit union membership.
The forms for credit union membership are located on this credit union page. In addition to the membership application, it includes applications for the Audio Teller (ART) and CUA online banking.
Thanks to the reader cjdtech who mentioned this membership qualification.
Other High Yield Reward Checking Accounts
Please see my reward checking overview for general information and a history of these reward checking accounts. For other reward checking accounts please see my list of reward checking accounts around the nation and the best checking account post.
- 03/02/11: 2.51% APY up to $15K
- 11/01/10: 2.41% APY up to $25K
- 06/01/10: 2.61% APY up to $25K; 076% APY over
- 03/31/09: 3.51% APY up to $25K; 1.01% APY over $25K
- 01/30/09: 5.11% APY
- 10/01/08: 6.31% APY
- 02/03/08: 7.01% APY up to $25K; 1.51% APY over $25K; 0.11% if requirements not met
From their field of membership list it does appear that members in addition to employees and volunteers of SPCA do qualify for credit union membership.
I've sent an email to verify this. I've seen cases in which what credit unions post on the websites are incorrect based on what's officially in their charters. I also asked if membership and the reward checking account application can be done by mail instead of a branch visit.
Hopefully, the reply will be positive.
Funny that the email response didn't mention Members, and living hundreds of miles away I won't be volunteering or employed at the Allen Co SPCA! It would be nice to verify with CU if "Members" ie membership actually does qualify one prior to the $25 donation to the Allen Co SPCA.
So... save yourself $5 and make a donation instead of joining.
I have seen accounts that pay by daily balance method and then pay at the end of the month and ones that calculate interest by the average daily balance. actually I have one of each of these accounts and have money moving in and out so it's hard to tell which pays more.
I have not seen one that calculates and compounds the interest on a daily basis tho.
I am opening up several new accounts as Legacy Bank lowered their rates for the 2nd time in 2 months and it's at 4% now.
I plan on using a color coded 3/4" diameter label (Avery color coding labels) 308 to a pkg-- to keep track of my charges. I put numbers 1-9 around the circle and #10 in the middle and all I have to do is X them as I use them. Pastel labels will work the best so you can see the ink. these will stick to the cards until you take them off and replace them with the following months.
Fot those of you that don't need alot of accounts, it probably won't be a challenge to watch your account on line.
Instead, I found the following terms:
"SHARE DRAFT ACCOUNT AGREEMENT
I/We authorize MidWest America Federal Credit Union to establish this Share draft Account for me/us, the credit Union is authorized to pay share drafts signed by me (or by any of us) and to charge all such payments against the shares in this Account. It is further agreed that:
(a) Only share draft blanks (and other methods) approved by the Credit Union may be used to make withdrawals from this Account.
What does the "share draft" mean? Do I have to pay for it?
this is what is keeping me from signing up... why go through all of the trouble and make a donation ec. if this rate will (most likely) be discontinued in the next few months?
"It would appear that Midwest America FCU has lowered the rate from 6.31 to 5.11 as of 1/30/09"
"Effective March 1, 2011, we are modifying the terms of your MidWest Reward Checking Account. As of that date, if you qualify, only that portion of your balance up to and including $15,000 will earn the premium rate. This has been changed from a maximum of $25,000. Balances above $15,000 will continue to earn the rate for funds in excess of the premium rate tier. Please check our website to view the current rates or call us at 800-348-4738.
This is bring done so that we can continue to offer a premium rate to our members with Reward Checking despite the low interest rate environment.
We are pleased to announce that there will be a small increase on the premium rate on MidWest Reward Checking as of March 1, 2011. This rate will be posted on that date on our website at www.mwafcu.org.
Notification for all future account modifications will be made electronically (eg via email) however rates may still change without notice.
I would like to take this opportunity to thank you for your loyalty over the years and we look forward to serving you as we enter out 75th year of business."