2.75% Reward Checking Account at Texas Bay Area Credit Union


Update 11/09/09: The top rate has risen to 2.75% APY. Refer to the bottom of the post for the rate history.

Texas Bay Area CU is offering a reward checking account called Free Member Advantage Checking that pays 2.75% APY for balances up to $25,000 (0.35% for above) and refunds ATM fees up to $25 per month if the following monthly requirements are met:
  • 10 debit card purchases (credit based)
  • one ACH debit or credit
  • receive eStatements
If these are not met, the rate falls to 0.10%. There are no monthly service charges and no minimum balance requirements. The first box of checks is free.

Membership is open to those who live, work, worship or attend school several communities in the suburbs of Houston including areas within a 10 mile radius of any office. You can also be eligible via Select Employer Groups. Please refer to their Eligibility Page for the full details. Membership requires a minimum $25 balance in the savings account.

The website CheckingFinder has an online application for this reward checking account located here. The first part of the application requires that you select that you meet the above eligibility requirements. The minimum initial deposit for the checking in this application is $50 with a maximum of $100.

Branches are located in Houston and Pasadena, TX. The credit union is federally insured by the NCUA (Charter # 67465). It has $200.1 million in assets and 24,356 members.

Other High Yield Reward Checking Accounts

To find reward checking accounts in other areas of the nation or to learn more about these accounts, please refer to my High Yield Checking website.

Rate History:
11/01/09: 2.75% APY up to $25K
06/01/09: 2.50% APY up to $25K; 0.35% over $25K
04/07/09: 3.01% APY up to $25K; 0.50% over $25K
02/06/09: 4.01% APY up to $25K; 0.75% over $25K
06/13/08: 5.01% APY up to $25K; 1.01% over $25K; 0.10% if requirements not met
Related Pages: Texas Bay Credit Union, Houston, checking account, reward checking account

Anonymous   |     |   Comment #1
I notice that this one specifies that the ten debits must be credit based. I am really surprised that more of these accounts don't insist on that because it is more profitable.

On the flip side; I know of an increasing number of small businesses who are not happy with Visa and Mastercard fees. They are having a hard time turning a profit and are trying very hard not to have to raise prices. Some are considering not excepting cards anymore.

I have heard that gas stations, in particular, sometimes are losing money on gas purchases made with cards.
Banking Guy
Banking Guy   |     |   Comment #2
Yes, I'm surprised other institutions with reward checking aren't requiring credit based (also called signature based) debit card purchases. They do make more money on these.

It would be interesting to know the fees that Visa and Mastercard charge on these purchases.

Here's an excerpt from Clark Howard's show notes on these fees:

If you go for credit, the merchant will pay $1.50 in processing fees. If you opt for debit, the merchant may only pay 17 or 18 cents.
Anonymous   |     |   Comment #3
The top two rates have fallen: 4.01% APY up to $25K; 0.75% over.
Anonymous   |     |   Comment #4
Top two tiers have fallen to 3.01% APY and 0.50%. Base rate same.