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Great Lakes Credit Union
3.00*%-$10kGreat Lakes Credit UnionUltimate Checking
Accounts mentioned in this post. Rates as of April 30, 2016.

Reward Checking with a Twist at Great Lakes Credit Union in IL - Local Only


Great Lakes Credit Union has an interesting high-yield reward checking account called Ultimate Checking. It offers a nice rate, but unlike the vast majority of reward checking accounts, there's a potential monthly fee. If certain monthly requirements are met, the account has the following rates and features (as of 11/02/2011):

  • 4.00% APY up to $15,000
  • 0.05% for over $15,000 (standard savings dividend rate)
  • Up to $5 ATM rebate per month
  • Free overdraft transfers
  • No monthly fee or minimum balance requirement

The monthly requirements include:

  • 10 signature-based debit card purchases
  • $250 Direct Deposit
  • eStatements
  • Mobile banking or bill pay

To avoid a $5 monthly fee, members will have to make a minimum of 5 signature-based debit card purchases a month OR maintain $250 direct deposit. More details are described in the credit union's Ultimate Checking page. The potential monthly fee and the requirements to avoid it make this reward checking account unique.

The ATM rebate is small, but this may not be a big issue since Great Lakes Credit Union is part of several surcharge Free ATM networks.

Membership is open to those who live or work in Lake or McHenry County Illinois or Kenosha County Wisconsin. Also eligible are active duty or retired military personnel or reservists and current or retired federal government employees. Please refer to the credit union's About Us page for more details. Membership requires a minimum $5 balance in the share savings account.

Great Lakes Credit Union branches are located in the Illinois cities of North Chicago, Gurnee, Libertyville, Round Lake Beach, Waukegan and Zion. There's also a branch in Chicago, but this is in the Federal Reserve building and is not open to the public. The credit union is part of the shared branch network.

The credit union has an overall health score at DepositAccounts.com of 4 stars (out of 5) with a Texas Ratio of 13.58% (above average) based on June 2011 data. Please refer to our financial overview of Great Lakes Credit Union for more details. The credit union is federally insured by the NCUA (Charter # 60238).

How This Rate Compares

You can get 4.09% APY at the all-access credit union Consumers Credit Union, and this is guaranteed to last through June 2012 (see my review). However, this only applies to balances up to $10K.

Finding Other Reward Checking Accounts

To find the best reward checking accounts in your area or that are available nationwide, please refer to our reward checking account table. Use the "Filter Accounts" button on top of the table to select either nationwide accounts and/or your state. Also, you can use this button to select the investment amount. This allows you to compare accounts with different rate tiers. For more details about how to use the rate tables, please refer to our rate table guide.

Edit 11/8/2011: Corrected requirements to avoid $5 monthly fee.

Related Pages: Great Lakes Credit Union, Chicago, Milwaukee, checking account

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