United Federal Credit Union (UFCU) has been offering its current rewards checking account (RCA), Ultra Checking, since 2017. The initial 3.00% APY on qualifying balances up to $15k is still in effect. Balances greater than $15k (qualifying or not) earn 0.10% APY, with non-qualifying balances up to $15k earning 0.05% APY.
Ultra Checking’s predecessor RCA was Interest Plus Checking, which I first wrote about in 2008. In what can only be described as the “RCA good old days,” UFCU guaranteed 6.01% APY on qualifying balances up to $25k until 2010. By July 2010, the rate had dropped 3.00% APY. The rate continued to drop over the next seven years, with Interest Plus Checking earning 1.25% APY just prior to the introduction of Ultra Checking.
The monthly qualifying requirements have not changed since Ultra Checking was unveiled and are as follows:
- At least ten non-PIN based debit card transactions
- Enroll in eStatements
- One direct deposit or ACH per month
An Ultra Checking account can be opened with a minimum $50 deposit. There is no monthly service fee or minimum balance requirement. Unlimited check writing is available and a free Visa debit card will be issued following account opening. Unlimited nationwide ATM fees will be reimbursed up to $25 per statement cycle, if qualifying requirements are met. There is a limit of one Ultra Checking account per member. An open Ultra Checking with a positive balance also qualifies members for a 0.10% APY bonus on Share Certificates, a 0.10% APY rate reduction on new loans, and a 0.25% APY bonus on a Bonus Builder Money Market account.
Headquartered in Saint Joseph, Michigan, United Federal Credit Union’s field of membership (FOM) isn’t easily categorized, but eligibility can be quickly determined by answering the three questions that are listed on the Join Online page:
Do you have an immediate Family Member with an account at United Federal Credit Union?
Relationship: Immediate family members of current UFCU members are eligible to join.
Are you OR your Immediate Family Member working for or retired from a Corporate Member?
Employment: Individuals who work for, or are retired from one of UFCU’s more than 900 Corporate Members, are eligible for membership.
Please select the state where you live - Arkansas, Indiana, Michigan, Nevada, North Carolina, Ohio, Oklahoma.
Residency: Individuals who live, work, worship, or attend school in certain counties/townships near UFCU branch locations are eligible for membership.
Easy Membership: Individuals who live anywhere in the above mentioned states are eligible for membership by joining the American Consumer Council.
Joining United Federal Credit Union and/or opening an Ultra Checking account can be done online, by phone (888.982.1400), or at any of 38 full-service branches located in Arkansas (6), Indiana (5), Michigan (10), North Carolina (5), Nevada (10), and Ohio (2).
A minimum $5 deposit in a Membership Savings account establishes a UFCU membership.
UFCU participates in the CO-OP Shared Branch and ATM networks, as well as the Alliance One ATM network.
Credit Union Overview
United Federal Credit Union has an overall health grade of "A" at DepositAccounts.com, with a Texas Ratio of 5.27% (excellent) based on March 31, 2021 data. In the past year, UFCU increased its total deposits by $504.8 million, an excellent annual growth rate of 22.89%. Please refer to our financial overview of United Federal Credit Union (NCUA Charter # 6288) for more details.
United Federal Credit Union was founded in 1949 as the Nineteen Hundred Employees Federal Credit Union by five Whirlpool employees. In its 72-year history, UFCU has seen four name changes, two acquisitions, one merger, and an expansion of its charter. In 2013, UFCU was doubly honored, being named Michigan Credit Union League Outstanding Credit Union of the Year 2013 and National Federal Credit Union of the Year 2013 by the National Association of Federal Credit Unions. Currently the fifth largest credit union headquartered in Michigan, United Federal Credit Union has nearly 180,000 members and assets in excess of $3.4 billion.
How Ultra Checking Compares
Given the multi-state availability, comparing the Ultra Checking account to nationally available RCAs is appropriate. When compared to the High Yield Rewards Checking Accounts tracked by DepositAccounts.com that are available nationwide and have maximum qualifying balances of at least $15k, United Federal Credit Union’s Ultra Checking APY currently ranks third.
The above information and rates are accurate as of 6/4/2021.
To look for the best Reward Checking Account rates, both nationwide and state specific, please refer to our High Yield Reward Checking Account Rates Table page.