High-Yield Reward Checking Account at a CA/TX Credit Union (National 1st)


Update 1/4/11: The top yield has fallen to 2.27% APY. Refer to the bottom of the post for the rate history.

National 1st Credit Union is offering a reward checking account called E-Rewards Plus Checking that pays 2.27% APY on balances up to $50,000 (0.25% for above) and refunds ATM fees (up to $25/month) if the following monthly requirements are met: 1) 15 debit card transactions, 2) enroll for E-statements, and 3) at least one login to Online Banking. If these are not met, the rate falls to 0.06%. The minimum opening balance is $100. There are no monthly fees.

The debit card usage requirement of 15 purchases per month is more than the average 10, but at least there's no direct deposit or ACH requirement. I would rather have the ACH requirement in return for the lower debit card requirement.

Membership is open to those who live, work, worship or attend school in Santa Clara County and in the community surrounding our Arlington, Texas branch. Please refer to their Membership page for the full details. Membership requires a minimum deposit of $5 in the savings account.

Branches are located in Santa Clara and San Jose, California and in Arlington, Texas (with restricted access). The credit union is federally insured by the NCUA (Charter # 68540). It has $170.6 million in assets and 16,566 members.

Thanks to the reader Sree who mentioned this reward checking account in the comments.

Other High Yield Reward Checking Accounts

For other reward checking accounts and for more information on these accounts, please refer to the following posts:

Rate History:

  • 01/01/11: 2.27% up to $50K; 0.25% over $50K; 0.06% base
  • 06/01/09: 2.51% up to $50K
  • 04/01/09: 3.01% up to $50K
  • 01/14/09: 3.51% up to $50K; 1.01% APY over $50K
  • 12/31/08: 3.01% up to $50K; 1.01% APY over $50K
  • 03/04/08: 5.01% up to $50K; 1.51% APY over $50K
Related Pages: checking account, reward checking account

Alex F.
  |     |   Comment #1
My experience: I was able to join the CU in person as a Santa Clara county resident, and open the mandatory Savings and the Checking account on 05-23-2008. Within the week since, I have already 1) received the Visa Debit card necessary to complete the 15 transactions, 2) my deposit check from out of state has cleared and is available, 3) my bill-pay is active, 4) I have received some ACH transfers from other banks.
  |     |   Comment #2
Me again. I've been using this CU as my primary checking for 5 months now, and it has been working great. I've made the 15 check card transactions every month, and they have paid me the 5% interest every month, AND refunded me for all the ATM fees that the _other_ banks charged me. No hidden fees, no hiccups.
Banking Guy
  |     |   Comment #3
Thanks for the update. Glad to read that they're meeting their promises.
  |     |   Comment #4
Effective Jan 1, 2009 the top rate falls to 3.01% up to $50K; 1.01% APY over $50K; 0.06% if requirements not met.

The E-Rewards FAQ page (in pdf format) will become a joke on Jan 2, unless it's updated.
  |     |   Comment #5
Apparently National 1st rescended their slated new year rate drop: top rate is listed at 3.51%APY.
  |     |   Comment #6
Top rate has now fallen to 3.01% APY. Other rates same.
  |     |   Comment #7
As of 6/1/09 the top rate is 2.51% APY. Other rates remain same.
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