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INOVA Federal Credit Union

High-Yield Reward Checking Account at INOVA FCU in Several States - Easy Membership


Update 12/1/11: The top rate has fallen to 3.00% APY.

INOVA Federal Credit Union is offering a high-yield reward checking account called Ovation Checking. The account pays 3.00% APY on balances up to $20,000 (0.30% over) if the following monthly requirements are met:

  • 15 signature-based debit card purchases
  • Direct Deposit $200 or more
  • E-statements
  • $1,500 minimum balance

Unlike most reward checking accounts, there doesn't seem to be any ATM fee refunds. Free ATMs are available at Alliance One or CO-OP network ATMs across the nation. Note, there's a $1 fee for not only at foreign ATMs but also for making PIN-based debit card purchases.


Credit union membership is primarily based on employment or membership in one of many organizations. Refer to the credit union's become-a-member page for more details. On the front page there's a "Join Now" link at to top left of the page. This link takes you to an online application provided by loanspq.com. One of the options for eligibility listed in this application includes:

You may elect to join one of the approved not for profit organizations such as Cass County Conservation Club or the Elkhart River Restoration Association.

The online application allows you to select the Ovations Checking Account. You are also required to open a savings account with a minimum balance of $5.

Credit Union Overview

Branches are located in the Indiana cities of Elkhart, Michigan City, Mishawaka and Granger. Other branches are located in Berkeley, California; Tarrytown, New York; Orange, Connecticut; Clayton, North Carolina; and Morristown and Wayne, New Jersey. It's also part of the Credit Union Service Center which allows you to perform basic transactions at branches of other credit unions around the nation.

According to the credit union's About page

Established in 1942, INOVA FCU was originally chartered to serve the employees of Miles Laboratories.

According to Wikipedia

Miles operated as an independent firm from 1884 until 1979 and as a wholly-owned subsidiary of Bayer AG from 1979 until 1995, when it was consolidated into the parent corporation.

The credit union's ratings for safety and soundness are a little weak: 2 stars (problematic) at BauerFinancial (based on 12/31/09 data) and 2 stars (below peer group) at Bankrate.com (based on 9/30/09 data). The credit union is federally insured by the NCUA (Charter # 4968).

Other High-Yield Reward Checking Accounts

The 4% APY is nice, but the $20K balance cap and the 15-per-month debit card requirement hurt the deal. Most reward checking accounts have a $25K cap and require no more than 10 debit card purchases per month (although this seems to be trending up).

Refer to the reward checking section of DepositAccounts.com to find reward checking accounts in your state or that are available nationwide.

Rate History

12/01/11: 3.00% APY up to $20K; 0.30% over
04/11/10: 4.00% APY up to $20K

Related Pages: reward checking account, checking account, INOVA Federal Credit Union, Raleigh, South Bend, Chicago, San Francisco Bay

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51hh   |     |   Comment #1
A rare 4% new RCA offer; however, the membership fee for not-for-profit organization may not be cheap ($25 annually for the Elkhart River Restoration Association).
Anonymous   |     |   Comment #2
Usually you do not have to pay for another term for membership to retain your CU membership.
51hh   |     |   Comment #3
Anon #2: Yes; some CUs even pays for that one-time membership fee.  My point was that $25 (even for one-time payment) is a bit steep.
Anonymous   |     |   Comment #4
You don't often see a minimum balance requirement on this tyupe of acciunt; and the 15 SIGNATURE BASED transactions is weird. Why have a debit card with a PIN if you have to SIGN all the time???
51hh   |     |   Comment #5
"Signature based" debit transaction is a bit misleading.  All it means is that no pin is involved.  So one can get gasoline at the pump without a pin (choose credit); that counts toward the requirement.  One does not have thr sign at all. 

No-pin transactions do offer more protection against fraud.