2.55% Reward Checking Account at a Washington State CU (Verity)


Update 1/10/10: The top rate has fallen to 2.55% APY. See bottom of post for the rate history.

Verity Credit Union has a reward checking account called Cartwheel Checking that pays 2.55% APY on balances up to $10,000 (0.75% for over) and refunds ATM fees (up to $25 per cycle) if the following monthly requirements are met: 1) 12 debit card point-of-sale transactions, 2) receive electronic statements, and 3) access online banking. If these are not met, the rate falls to 0.10%. There are no monthly balance requirements or monthly service charges regardless of meeting the above requirements.

Two nice features of this reward checking account is the $40K cap which is higher than the average $25K cap and the lack of a direct deposit requirement.

Membership is open to anyone who lives, works, worships or attends school in Washington State. You can also qualify via Select Employee Groups. Most of these seem to be military related. Please refer to their Who-Can-Join page for more details. Membership requires a $5 fee and a minimum deposit of $5 in the share savings account.

Branches are located in Seattle, Auburn and Lynnwood. The credit union is federally insured by the NCUA (Charter # 68517). It has $341.2 million in assets and 25,091 members.

Thanks to the reader who emailed me info on this credit union.

More Info on High Yield Reward Checking Accounts

For more information on reward checking accounts, please refer to one of these posts: reward checking overview, list of reward checking accounts around the nation, and the best checking account post.

Rate History:
12/01/09: 2.55% APY up to $10K
05/05/09: 3.05% APY up to $10K; 0.75% over (Cartwheel checking), Velocity Checking appears to remains the same for existing customers. New Velocity Checking accounts are not available.
05/01/09: 3.05% APY up to $25K; 0.75% over
03/01/09: 3.50% APY up to $25K;
02/02/09: 3.50% APY up to $40K
12/01/08: 4.05% APY up to $40K
10/01/08: 4.50% APY up to $40K
07/01/08: 5.05% APY up to $40K. The yield for balances over $40K dropped from 2% to 1%.
06/01/08: Temporary promo with top yield of 6.75% APY.
12/18/07: The top yield was 6.01% APY.
Anonymous   |     |   Comment #1
Does anyone have any experience with this credit union? How secure is it financially...?
Anonymous   |     |   Comment #2
I have been with this Credit Union for a little over 2 months now thanks to this board. I can't tell you how refreshing it is to be with a CU instead of my old bank (BOA). Once I joined I received a voicemail at home welcoming me and also a letter from the CEO. I've never even step foot in their branch yet, I did everything online. It's so nice to get 6% interest each month! I've recommended them to all my friends, family and co-workers (too bad they don't have a referal bonus).
Banking Guy
Banking Guy (anonymous)   |     |   Comment #3
Thanks for sharing your experience on Verity. Glad to read of the good customer service and an all-online application process. Were you able to fund the checking account with an electronic transfer? Or did you have to mail in a check?
Anonymous   |     |   Comment #4
I was able to fund the account with an electronic transfer initiated from another online savings account. Verity doesn’t have electronic transfer of their own just bill pay. I use the other online savings account to maintain the $40k max on this account. They required some forms to be signed and a copy of your DL which I scanned and emailed back to them.
Banking Guy
Banking Guy (anonymous)   |     |   Comment #5
Thanks for the info. Online savings accounts definitely make it easier to fund and maintain these reward checking accounts. I bet these online banks never imagined people transfering out of these savings accounts into higher yielding checking accounts.
Anonymous   |     |   Comment #6
Verity CU is the oldest credit union in WA 75 yrs in June originally NW federal. Funds are insured by the NCUA for 100k they provide additional insurance for each member through excess share insurance corp. for another
$250k total of $350k for each member. financially speaking they list their annual report on their web page www.veritycu.com 2007 report lists over $360 mill in assests. They do have a refer a friend or family bonus $25 for each after the accounts have been open for 60 days. I've already made $50!
The Velocity account is easy & it's free! No monthly service fees, direct deposit not required but they give you $25 if you sign up. No minimum balance required & there are no closure fees. Seriously this is the easiest money I have ever made. Plus they reimburse any ATM surcharges up to $25 each month! That includes internationl ATMs. Can anyone actually beat this?? If you live in WA & are not banking with them you are sorely missing out.
shari storm
shari storm (anonymous)   |     |   Comment #7
@the first anonymous commenter -

Verity does have a referal bonus (I work there, so I know). Email us and we can tell you more.
Anonymous   |     |   Comment #8
Verity Credit Union is running a special for June where they raised their Velocity Checking (rewards checking) account to 6.75%. All other requirements are the same.
Anonymous   |     |   Comment #9
Also regarding the above post...this is what's posted in the fine print. Kindof strange

“* 6.75% Annual Percentage Yield (APY) paid on balances between one penny and $40,000, and 1.00% APY paid on all amounts above $40,000 each cycle the minimum qualifications are met. If you do not meet the account qualifications per cycle, your account will still function as a free checking account earning 0.10% APY; however, it will not receive ATM refunds for that time period. Rates effective June 1-30, 2008 and will adjust to 5.05% APY as of July 1, 2008. Available to personal accounts only. We may change the interest rate and the APY at any time after the account is opened. No Minimum Balance Required. No monthly service charge.”

So it looks like the APR is going from 6.01% to 6.75% in June then down to 5.05% in July.
Banking Guy
Banking Guy (anonymous)   |     |   Comment #10
First time I saw an institution do a temporary bump-up in the reward chcking rate before a rate cut. Helps a little to reduce the disappointment of the cut. But a month goes quickly.
Anonymous   |     |   Comment #11
Just informed today that beginning October 1st the Velocity Rewards checking account has dropped to 4.50%.
Anonymous   |     |   Comment #12
my first checking account was with verity and I love it! and they were really nice.. I remember them issuing my first checks as numbered over 2000 just so I wouldn't look like an amateur... even though I was. at one point I was also charged twice for a purchase and didn't catch it until it showed up a couple days later on my online statement; I filled out their claims form and it wasn't long before verity reimbursed me... they just took care of it, hassle-free. I won't bank anywhere else.
Doug (anonymous)   |     |   Comment #13
The rate is now 4.05%, effective today. If it falls any lower, I'll move my money elsewhere.
David (anonymous)   |     |   Comment #14
Way ahead of you. I moved most of my money to Northwest Plus Credit Union in October due to the last drop. They still have 5.01% on their rewards account.
David (anonymous)   |     |   Comment #15
The rate has now been lowered to 3.50%.
David (anonymous)   |     |   Comment #16
Informed via email today that beginning March 1st, maximum balance will go from $40,000 to $25,000. This has now become the worst Rewards Checking Account in Washington State.
David (anonymous)   |     |   Comment #17
Rate has been lowered to 3.05% beginning May 1.
David (anonymous)   |     |   Comment #18
Looks like they have changed their Rewards Checking account from Velocity to Cartwheel. It now only offers 3.05% up to $10,000 and 0.75% over that.
Sarah N
Sarah N (anonymous)   |     |   Comment #19
Effective 12/1/09, rates have dropped for both Velocity & Cartwheel. Now 2.55 APY up to cap, .75 over cap.
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