Provident Credit Union’s (Provident CU) Super Reward Checking has been included in DA’s bi-weekly Best Bank Account Summary for several years, based on its APY (currently 2.01% up to $25k), its qualification requirements, and the Credit Union’s easy membership requirement. Changes have been made to the qualification requirement, and it appears Provident CU is no longer an “open” credit union, which I discuss in greater detail in the Availability section below.
Previously, a minimum of 10 debit card purchases was required, but now the Super Reward Checking requires "$300 or more using a Provident debit and/or credit card per month." While the $300 minimum isn’t the best, allowing the use of a credit card is a big plus for those who don’t like debit cards, and more importantly, want to take advantage of cash back credit cards. The Provident Signature Cash Back VISA® pays 1.5% cash back on all purchases.
Headquartered in Redwood City, Provident Credit Union used to offer membership to all U.S. residents through joining the American Cancer Society, the Sierra Club, or the Sierra Club Foundation; those three organizations are no longer listed in the more than 1,200 SEGs and associations listed on Provident CU’s Eligibility page and online application.
Note: I had a fairly lengthy discussion with CSR about the absence of the three previously mentioned organizations. While she did confirm those organizations were no longer a part of the field of membership (FOM), she couldn’t/wouldn’t tell me if any of the 120+ organizations listed were open to the general public. Her standard answer was “if you belong to any of the listed organizations, you are eligible for membership.” It’s possible that there may be an organization/associated listed that anyone could join, but it’s not readily apparent.
Residency - Membership is open to residents of the California counties of Alameda, Contra Costa, El Dorado, Humboldt, Monterey, Placer, Sacramento, San Francisco, San Mateo, and Santa Clara, as well as those living in the city of Los Angeles.
Employment or Affiliation - Employees and members of over 1,200 SEGS also qualifying for membership. A complete list is available on the Eligibility page.
Relationship - Individuals who are related to or live in the same household as a current Provident CU member are eligible to join. According to the Eligibility page, this “includes anyone related to you by birth, marriage, or adoption, or persons living in the same residence maintaining a single economic unit.”
Joining Provident CU and/or opening a Super Reward Checking account can be done either online, or in person at any of the 20 California branches located in Alameda, Belmont, Daly City, Eureka, Folsom, Hayward, Los Gatos, Millbrae, Oakland, Palo Alto, Redwood City (2), San Francisco (2), San Jose (2), San Mateo, San Ramon, Sunnyvale, and Walnut Creek.
Credit Union Overview
Provident Credit Union (NCUA Charter # 66343) has an overall health grade of "A+" at DepositAccounts.com, with a Texas ratio of 0.26% (excellent), based on June 30, 2016 data. In the past year, Provident CU has increased its total deposits by $76.84 million, an excellent annual growth rate of 4.21%. Please refer to our financial overview of Provident Credit Union for more details.
Founded in 1950, Provident Credit Union was originally established for the benefits of the California Teachers Association members. While the FOM has expanded to include other professional associations and businesses, the education profession is still well represented. Provident CU is the 18th largest credit union in California, with nearly 105,000 members and assets in excess of $2.1 billion.
How Super Reward Checking Compares
When compared to the 29 High Yield Reward Checking Accounts tracked by DepositAccounts.com, which are available to California residents and have maximum qualifying balances of at least $25k, Provident Credit Union’s Super Reward Checking APY currently ranks third.
|Interest Rate||Account Name||Credit Union/Bank|
|2.50% APY||Cash Rewards High Interest Checking (up to $25k)||Mid Illini Credit Union|
|2.25% APY||Kasasa Cash (up to $25k)||Main Street Bank (MI)|
|2.01% APY||Super Reward Checking (up to $25k)||Provident Credit Union|
The above rates are accurate as of 9/8/2016.