Vibrant Credit Union Offers Top-Rate Money Market Account


Deal Summary: Purple Money Market, 2.50% APY ($100k+), 0.65% APY (less than $100k), no minimum opening deposit, new money.

Availability: Nationwide (easy membership requirement)

Illinois-based Vibrant Credit Union (Vibrant CU) has a new money market account: the Purple Money Market, which currently earns 2.50% APY on balances of $100k and above. Balances of less than $100k earn a substantially lower 0.65% APY. There is no minimum opening deposit requirement, but the initial deposit must be new money.

In an email exchange with Vibrant CU’s Chief Lending Officer (CLO), I learned the following:

Me: Is this a promotional rate? Can you say any more than "it's a variable rate account?"

    CLO: No, this is not a promotional rate. It is the rate associated with the account based off of today’s market rates. This is a variable rate account and can adjust up or down with a change in market rate.

Me: Are there any monthly maintenance fees?

    CLO: No, there are no monthly fees associated with the account. [NOTE: there is a $25 early closure fee, it the account is closed within 90 days of opening.]

Me: What is the fee when the number of withdrawals exceeds 6 per statement cycle?

    CLO: We don’t allow our members to go over 6 withdrawals per statement cycle so there is no fee.

Me: What's your membership area? I don't see any counties listed.

    CLO: Membership to Vibrant Credit Union is open to any U.S. resident. Our physical branch locations can be found in Iowa, Illinois and Indiana.

Me: Does the Purple MMA offer limited check writing?

    CLO: N/A, [as there is no check writing].

Me: Does it offer a debit/ATM card?

    CLO: No, funds would have to be transferred into a savings or checking account in order to have a card associated.

Me: Does your credit union offer ACH institution-to-institution funds transfers? If yes, what are the outgoing and incoming dollar limitations on the transfers?

    CLO: Yes, definitely! This isn't something we want to specifically advertise since it's a higher-fraud risk area for us. [This information will be provided to individuals when opening the Purple Money Market account.]

Me: Do you allow ACH deposits and withdrawals when initiated from another institution?

    CLO: Members can directly debit out of the Money Market Account, of course it’s subject to Regulation D and limited to 6 transactions per month.

Me: Does your Credit Union participate in the Shared Branch Network?

    CLO: Vibrant Credit Union has an extensive mobile and online platform allowing members to do their banking from basically wherever they go. We do not have a shared branch network but we do have a shared ATM network through Allpoint.


Headquartered in Moline, Illinois, Vibrant Credit Union now offers membership to all U.S. residents with a valid Social Security number. When I last wrote about Vibrant CU in January 2017, the field of membership included individuals who live within a 50-mile radius of any Quad Cities (southeastern Iowa and northwest Illinois) branch location.

Joining Vibrant CU and/or opening a Purple Money Market account can be done at any of the six Iowa branches located in Bettendorf, Clinton, Davenport (2), Dubuque, and Eldridge, or eight Illinois branches located in Danville (2), DeKalb, East Moline, Geneseo, Milan, Moline, and Westchester. There is also a single branch in Covington, Indiana.

Joining and opening any type of account with Vibrant can also be initiated by filling out the online ”Open an Account” form, which gathers the most basic of personal information. Following submission,

One of our Vibrant employees will reach out to you soon.

According to the “Open an Account” form, “All you need is $5 and a dream,” to establish a membership account.

Credit Union Overview

Vibrant Credit Union has an overall health grade of "B+" at, with a Texas Ratio of 7.51% (excellent) based on December 31, 2018 data. Vibrant CU has an above average capitalization level, the result of holding $713.44 in assets with $74.54 million in equity. Please refer to our financial overview of Vibrant Credit Union (NCUA Charter # 61093) for more details.

Chartered in 1935 for the benefit of the John Deere Harvester Works Plant employees, the original Deere Harvester Credit Union opened its doors with a modest $40 in assets. In the mid-90s, the field of membership was changed to include non-employees, as well as John Deere employees.

In 2005, John Deere requested the credit union to rebrand and remove any name/affiliation with the John Deere brand. At that time we changed from Deere Harvester Credit Union to DHCU Community Credit Union (an acronym without a meaning).

Following the DHCU rebrand, there was still confusion about non-employees being eligible for membership, so the name was changed to Vibrant Credit Union in late 2015.

Between February 2017 and April 2018, Vibrant CU acquired one Iowa (IntegrUS Credit Union) and four Illinois credit unions (Salt Creek Credit Union, First Illinois Credit Union, Electris Energy, Inc. Employees Credit Union, and Dekalb County Credit Union). Vibrant Credit Union is currently the 14th largest credit union headquartered in Illinois, with more than 50,500 members and assets in excess of $713 million.

How the Purple Money Market Compares

When compared to the Money Market accounts tracked by that are available nationwide, Vibrant Credit Union’s Purple Money Market APYs currently shares the top spot with Investors eAccess Money Market, regardless of minimum deposit requirements.

The above rates are accurate as of 4/12/2019.

To look for the best MMA rates, both nationwide and state specific, please refer to our Money Market Accounts rates table page.

Related Pages: Chicago money market accounts, Cedar Rapids money market accounts, Champaign money market accounts, Davenport money market accounts, money market accounts, nationwide deals

  |     |   Comment #1
Article says "According to the “Open an Account” form, “All you need is $5 and a dream, ...”. I've got the $5, and more. My dream is a rate guarantee.
  |     |   Comment #3
100k minimum. Need I say more
  |     |   Comment #4
Yah I got 100k.
  |     |   Comment #5
#4 If it suits your needs open an account. I've been getting 2.5% at EBSB since last year and don't have to keep a $100,000 minimum to get 2.5%.
  |     |   Comment #11
I’ve got a 2.5% account at EBSB and one at Northern as well. But we need to know all available options if rates drop suddenly and quick action is warranted. CIT is a perfect example, they had most of my money a year or two ago and I never dreamed I wouldn’t remain a good customer. But things change.
  |     |   Comment #12
#11 I have a CD maturing with CIT this month. I had a large amount of funds with them in a savings account but when they were no longer competitive I moved most of my funds out. Kept the savings account open so when the CD matures I have the funds sent to my savings account and then will move it to either EBSB or Northern (I have accounts with both) and will move on to my next investment. At the end of the month I will close the savings account with CIT.

Having 100k minimum on an account limits my use of liquid funds for a high rate CD or another investment that comes along. I like that Ken shows other options, I just like the minimum requirement of 100k.
  |     |   Comment #13
My edit don't like 100k
  |     |   Comment #6
For 100K minimum, I would expect 3.5% with rate guarantee.
  |     |   Comment #7
Comment #6 Then you are locked with that for 5 years. You will miss out on 4 and 5 handle offers that are coming.
  |     |   Comment #8
Larry Looked like 4% was the tops and the momentum looks like rated will be going lower. When are these 4 or 5% offers coming? I also prefer not to see high rate CDs that do not have low maximums and/or very short durations.
  |     |   Comment #14
For $100k minimum I expect it to come with dinner and a movie. Whatever happened to the toasters?
  |     |   Comment #15
The last toaster offer I saw was in 2016: Bankwell Bank had a "Bread or Toast" $150 checking bonus. $150 in cash or a $149 SMEG toaster.
  |     |   Comment #16
Back in the day it was a toaster PLUS 8% on your cash. Of course inflation was 15%, but who was counting.
  |     |   Comment #18
It might be nice if Ken could post monthly updates of the CPI-U and/or chained CPI to give people a rough idea of how much "real" interest is being earned after accounting for inflation.
  |     |   Comment #19
How about a table showing highest rate for each term/account type before and after inflation.
  |     |   Comment #24
The best free gifts for opening bank accounts that I received were a 15" portable TV and VHS tape recorder/player.
  |     |   Comment #17
I'm not sure why Ken did not use MemoryBank as a comparison instead of IGB. MB is offering 2.45% with a $0.00 minimum and a $1M max with no fees whatsoever.
  |     |   Comment #21
How come no one ever mentions All America Bank and Redneck Bank? They pay 2.5% up to 50K each (so there's your $100K) with no minimums. Am I missing something?
  |     |   Comment #22
I do not know, but I assume it's because each of the banks you mentioned have a stated maximum deposit to earn stated rate whereas this credit union has no stated maximum. It has a stated *minimum* of $100k to at the stated rate.

I do think it would be helpful to have some clarification made as to what criteria are considered when making comparisons between accounts. Although I think that would be difficult to do.

There are so many different parameters to each account. When accounts are excluded from comparisons, which of these parameters is being used to disqualify them from that particular comparison? Comparing accounts is a tricky business because to really make the comparison meaningful, you have to compare every one of the parameters. Some of them may be important or even critical to some people and unimportant to others. On the other hand, not making clear what criteria are considered in the comparisons implies that there aren't other options which may be perfectly suitable for the readers and creates confusion as to why certain options are missing.

So I think the best answer without overcomplicating these things is to use the comparisons as a guideline but then do your own research to see if there's something else that may work better for you. One size doesn't fit all.
  |     |   Comment #23
Again I am only guessing at y some accounts are compared and others are not but more likely, since the two banks you mentioned have no stated minimum to earn the stated rate, they are considered a poor comparison to this account since it has a relatively high minimum. In the end I think the decision of which accounts to compare is arbitrary and assumes that certain parameters are more important than others which may or may not be true to any particular investor.
  |     |   Comment #25
Just checked now for new account. Easy membership is not easy. If you don't live near IL, then you need to purchase life insurance and then they will consider adding an account for you. I don't think I will bother.
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