Posted by William Charles on June 3, 2016
Rewards Checking

Published on June 3rd, 2016 | by William Charles

102

Consumers Credit Union 4.59% APY On Up To $20,000 Rewards Checking

Offer at a glance

  • Interest Rate: up to 4.59% (previously, 5.09%)
  • Minimum Balance: None
  • Maximum Balance: up to $20,000
  • Availability: Anybody can join, even if they don’t live in Illinois but you’ll need to pay $5 to join Consumers Cooperative Association. More information here.
  • Direct deposit required: Optional
  • Additional requirements: Yes, see below 
  • Hard/soft pull: Hard pull (Equifax)
  • Credit card funding: Yes, up to $1,000
  • Monthly fees:  None 
  • Early Account Termination Fee: None
  • Insured: NCUA (68588)

The Offer

Direct link to offer

  • Receive an APY of up to 4.59% on balances up to $20,000 with consumers credit union.

This is a rewards checking account, as such you need to complete certain requirements to get the increased interest rate. Below are the requirements you need to meet and what APY you’ll receive if you meet them. All of these requirements are based on a calendar month.

  • 3.09% APY on balances up to $10,000 and ATM refunds.
    • Complete 12 debit/check card point-of-sale purchases without a PIN
    • Complete one of the following every calendar month:
      • One direct deposit OR
      • One ACH debit OR
      • Pay one bill using CCU online bill pay
    • Access online banking at least once
    • Receive eDocuments (enroll and accept the disclosure)
  • 3.59% APY on balances up to $15,000 and ATM refunds
    • Complete all of the 3.09% requirements and
    • Spend a minimum of $500 on CCU Visa credit card purchases
  • 4.59% APY on balances up to $20,000 and ATM refunds
    • Complete all of the 3.09% requirements and
    • Spend a minimum of $1,000 on CCU Visa credit card purchases

If you don’t meet these requirements then you will only receive an APY of 0.01%. None of these rates have a guaranteed rate, so they can change at any time. Check out the rate history to get an idea of what they’ve been in the past.

consumers credit union

 

The Fine Print

  • Debit/check card transactions must post & clear before the end of the calendar month
  • Direct deposit/ACH debit or bill pay must post & clear before the end of the calendar month
  • Credit card purchases are calculated from the 28th of the previous month to the 27th of the current month
  • Any consumer credit union issued card will qualify
  • Credit card cash advances and balance transfers do not qualify
  • Limit of one rewards checking account per customer

Sign Up Bonus/Referral

Update: The referral bonus expired on September 30th, 2015 if you’re able to get it again please let me know and I’ll update the post.

Unlike other rewards checking accounts, consumers credit union also offers a referral program. For every person you refer you’ll receive a $50 bonus and so will they when they meet the rewards checking requirements at any level for the first two full months.

You need to fill out a paper form and then send it/fax it in, so this might be too much of a hassle for some folks, 847-566-7005 should be the correct fax number. You should also be able to e-mail it in, which is probably preferable as they will acknowledge when they have received it. This form is filled out after you sign up.

Referring friends & family members at the same address is not an issue. If you have any experience with this referral program then please let us know in the comments section below. You can find more information about this referral/sign up bonus here. The reports from this FatWallet thread are mostly positive for the referral program.

Avoiding Fees

There is no monthly fee, even if you do not complete the requirements to earn the higher interest rates (although if this is the case you’d only earn 0.01% interest). I couldn’t find any mention of early account termination fee in their fee schedule either.

Consumers Credit Union Credit Cards

Because there is a requirement to spend $1,000 per month to get the top rate of 4.59%, I thought I’d be a good idea to have a quick look at the credit cards CCU offers.

  • Platinum card. No annual fee or rewards program, card doubles the manufacturers warranty on all purchases.
  • Platinum rewards card. No annual fee and earn 1 point per dollar spent
  • Student Visa. No annual fee or rewards program. Available for applicants aged 13 to 21.

Visa Signature Cash Rebate Card $100 Bonus + Introductory APR of 0%, 3% Cash Back On Grocery Store Purchases

  • $100 account credit if you make $1,000 in purchases within three months of account opening
  • Card earns at the following rate:
    • 3% cash rebate for “Grocery/Convenience Store” purchases
    • 2% cash rebate for “gas” purchases
    • 1% cash rebate on all other purchases
  • Cash rebate is automatically credit to account each month
  • Maximum of $6,000 spend ($180 cash back annually, previously this was $6,000)
  • No annual fee
  • No fee on balance transfers
  • 0% introductory APR for six months on all purchases and balance transfers

Visa Signature Rewards Card $100 Bonus + Introductory APR of 0%, 3x Points on Grocery Store Purchases

  • $100 account credit if you make $1,000 in purchases within three months of account opening
  • Card earns at the following rate:
    • 3x points for “Grocery/Convenience Store” purchases (limit of $6,000 per year in spend)
    • 2x points rebate for “gas” purchases
    • 1x points rebate on all other purchases
  • Points expire after 5 years
  • No maximum on the amount of points you can earn
  • No annual fee
  • No fee on balance transfers
  • 0% introductory APR for six months on all purchases and balance transfers

Rate History

If you know anything more about their rate history, let us know in the comments.

Analysis Of The Deal

The biggest downside to this account is that it requires a hard pull to Equifax to open, I try to get around $200 cash value out of every hard pull so this account would need to make up for that difference [Read: Best cash credit card offers]. You could potentially get $20 (for initially funding $1,000 with a credit card that earns 2%).

Getting the 3.09% rate would be pretty easy, as there are a lot of ways to meet debit card requirements cheaply and quickly, paying a bill online (this would trigger two parts of the bonus) and enrolling in eStatements are also very easy.

The 3.59% rate would also be pretty easy to get, although that would require also opening a credit card which would result in another hard pull. Thankfully two of their cards give a sign up bonus of $100, so you wouldn’t be loosing too much value there. Unfortunately you need to spend $500 on this card monthly, you can put that on a card that gets 3% back at grocery stores but there are cards that earn at a higher rate.

The 4.59% rate is what we’re really all after though and that’s a bit more difficult to get. Let’s assume that you make all of your purchases in a non bonus category and get 1% cash back, if you used a different card you could have gotten at least 2% cash back. Over a year worth of purchases ($12,000) you’d be losing $120 in cash back which almost offsets the additional 1% APY you’d be getting.

If you instead make $12,000 in gas purchases, you could have been using a credit card that earns 5% cash back in which case you’d be missing out on 3% cash back or $360 in cash back over a year in purchases.

If you put the $1,000 spend on grocery stores, you’d get 3% back for the first $6,000 in purchases and then 1% for the other purchases. There are cards that earn at higher rates and don’t have a low of a cap limit either.

[Read: Best Grocery Store Credit Cards]

Here is how much interest you’d earn if you had the maximum deposited and meet the requirements.

APY One Month of Interest One Year of Interest
3.09% ($10,000 deposited)  $               25.75  $           309
3.59% ($20,000 deposited)  $               59.83  $         718
5.09%

($20,000 deposited)

 $               76.5  $        918

Although that table is not that helpful considering you wouldn’t have your money just sitting under your mattress if it wasn’t in this account. Below is a table of how much extra interest you’d earn in comparison to if you had this money in an account that earned a 1% APY.

APY One Month One Year
3.09%  $               17.42  $           209
3.59%  $           43.17  $           518
4.59%  $               59.84  $          718

Our Verdict

I personally think this account only makes sense if you plan to go after the 4.59% rate (due to the 3.59% rate resulting in two hard pulls) and even then it only really makes sense if you’re making a lot of grocery store purchases every month and even then only if you put $6,000 on this card and then move the other $6,000 into non bonused spend and even then you’d need to be maxing out the other cards that earn at a higher rate on grocery store purchases.. For people that don’t fall into those categories, I think you’d most likely be better off with one of the other banks that offers a high interest account.

It’s also worth remember that CCU often changes what the requirements are to get the highest rate, so there is nothing stopping them making it much more difficult in the future.

As always, you can view more rewards checking accounts here or read our introduction to them here.



102 Responses to Consumers Credit Union 4.59% APY On Up To $20,000 Rewards Checking

  1. Kat says:

    Would purchase made online meet this requirement, or do they have to be made in person?

    “Complete 12 debit/check card point-of-sale purchases without a PIN”

    • Joe says:

      These are just 12 regular purchases, online or in person doesn’t matter. Depending how they code the purhases you can even buy like 12 amazon gift cards for .25c or something to meet this requirement. In other words it’s very easy.

      • Leo says:

        Hello, Joe:

        I tried Amazon GC but CCU doesn’t count it as purchase without PIN. How could I do to meet the requirement then? Anyone can help for this?

        • Dan says:

          I can confirm that Amazon gift card do not count. I tried 50 cents and $1. None counts.

          PayPal reader counts…

      • Penny says:

        How long does it take for the counter in their online portal to count. I did 2 0.25c transactions with AT&T over the weekend and it still at 0. This worked with my other credit union.

  2. Jesse Smith says:

    Hello, I am a member of Consumers CU, and if you need me to send in referral paperwork, just send me your full name via email at dnasmith1499@yahoo.com. Thanks, Jesse

  3. Alex says:

    Target reloads count as grocery purchases on their credit card which makes it easy to spend $1000 on their credit card for 3% cashback. It’s an easy $150 a month if you have a target prepaid redcard and load $5k on this card on top of the $84.83.

    • Jesse Smith says:

      Alex, finally figured out what you are talking about. I am loving Consumers CU so far, and coupled with their rewards credit card (3% back at grocery stores) and Target Prepaid Debit, it is a no brainer. Plus you get 5% interest (easy to meet qualification each month). If anyone has any questions for need a referral (to get extra $50), email me at email address in post above.

  4. Jesse says:

    Alex, can you explain the process more at target? Isn’t the redcard a credit card? How do you load and unload the funds back into your bank account? Thanks for the help. Jesse

  5. Ted says:

    Just applied for the Reward Checking and Visa Signature. Pulled TU for sure and possibly EQ too judging from the verification questions. Will know tomorrow for sure. Be sure to get the answers right as people from FICO forum reported multiple hard pulls if you answered incorrectly. Funded $5 into mandatory savings account, and $990 using Freedom (should have used Barclays but realized didnt have that card on me). Dropdown list lets you pick Amex, but they don’t accept that for funding. I picked $10k for credit limit on Visa Signature. Both went into review. I called to have them put in note to expedite processing. Rep got back to me asking me to re-upload drivers license, then later confirmed checking/saving accounts were opened. Credit card was still processing. Regarding Visa Signature, you have no way of picking the Cashback or Points version of the 3-2-1 card when applying online, the rep said to let him know right then which one I wanted. Rep also asked about spending habit I would be putting on Credit Card as they look for people who would put at least $1k monthly (not because of the 5% APY, but thats just what they look for). Also, commonly minimum credit limit for Visa Signature is $5k, but rep said it is $10k for them. I also sent him recent paystub and some references proactively in case credit card underwriters wanted them (sometimes they do, not uncommon, according to FICO forum). I later checked status and looks like credit card approved too. That’s my experience. Oh, and my credit score is close to 800 and I just had 4 new TU pulls 2 weeks ago from credit cards. 9 inquiries total after this current one. 1 yesterday from Lake Michigan Credit Union. No new banking accounts opened in last 4 years?

    • Jesse says:

      Ted, don’t forget you can get $50 with a referral. If you need one, let me know.

    • Ike says:

      Ted, Thanks for the thorough comment. I recently wanted to take advantage of the LAFCU $300 promotion, and was amazed by what was required for a $5000 car loan plus a $10K Visa. When I reported I am self employed and paycheck stubs were not an option, they wanted a CPA certified letter and my last two profit and loss schedules….WTF? Burned a hard pull right there….Live and learn and make sure you ask before with FCUs especially.

  6. Ted says:

    Just got email from CCU saying the rates and benefits are not guaranteed through “AT LEAST December 31, 2015!”

  7. Jesse says:

    “And now – we’ve guaranteed these great benefits through AT LEAST December 31, 2015!”

  8. Leo says:

    Could anyone refer me for CCU, so we can both receive $50 together? I’m interested in opening an account now.

  9. Joe says:

    From all my reading these guys always do a Hard on EQ for checking and Hard on TU for CC. I have never seen them use the same pull to open both accounts or even use the same CRA for both accounts so plan accordingly.

    • LB says:

      My checking account and CC were combined into one pull last fall. I was told this would be the case by a CSR, and it turned out to be true. They actually said I had 30 days after opening the checking account if I wanted to combine the hard pull, since I didn’t open the two at the same time.

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  11. Jayson Tripp says:

    Does anyone know if loading serve counts as a pinless debit? I am looking at opening an account. I also need someone to refer me to get the bonus.
    Thanks

  12. Justin says:

    Anyone needing a referral for $50 can email me at zieg9479[at]rams.colostate.edu

  13. Justin says:

    FYI, regarding the 50/50 bonus for referrals, CCU has sent me this:
    “Thank you for your message. We appreciate you taking the time to contact us.

    We apologize, however the $50/$50 Rewards Checking referral promotion ended on September 30th, 2015.

    Please feel free to contact us at 877-275-2228 if there are any additional questions or concerns.

    Thank you for contacting Consumers Credit Union, and have a great day.”

  14. Jayson says:

    Looks like this place has downgraded now…Worse terms, new max of 4.59% I believe…

  15. Tom says:

    UPDATE ON CONSUMER’S CREDIT UNION:
    Kroger transactions no longer processed as charges, even if you choose the “credit” option. They join Walmart and McDonalds who do the same, so does Amazon unless you change your account settings.

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  17. Chao says:

    available for U.S. citizens or permanent residents only.

  18. Matt says:

    I’ve been a member of this credit union for about 1 year now. A few notes:

    -It does not require 2 separate hard pulls to get the 4.59% interest. If you apply for the membership and a credit card at the same time, they’ll combine them into 1 hard pull. When I opened my account a year ago, the phone representative actually went out of her way to recommend this to me while they were processing my application.

    -My 1 and only pull was from TransUnion, not Equifax (as of 6/17/15, maybe it’s changed since then)

    -The Signature Rewards cards (3/2/1) have a minimum limit of $5,000. They won’t approve it for anything less (they would move you down to a Platinum card instead). By sheer luck, I actually contacted a chat representative earlier today (perfect timing!), and he explicitly told me this.

    -They only do one annual review on your credit card for an automatic limit increase, and it generally happens at the end of the year in November/December (not one calendar year from when your account opened). The same chat representative told me this as well.

    I’m happy to answer any other questions people might have about this account.

    • Jake says:

      So to combine the hard pulls, do you need to open the account over the phone? or just do it online on the same day? Thanks

      • Matt says:

        It’s been a long time since I opened, so I don’t remember exactly, but I know I started/submitted an application online. I believe what happened was they called me for more information before approving, and then they asked me about that on the phone at the same time. I could be wrong though, like I said it was a while ago.

        I would probably do it over the phone, just to be safe, and just to make sure you get the credit card you want – I don’t remember being able to pick a specific card in the online application (the 3% CB supermarket card is pretty good, the other ones are not).

    • HG says:

      What’s a point worth? More than 1CPP?

      • Matt says:

        Way less than 1 CPP. You can get gift cards to other stores, but it’s around 0.75 CPP or so. They mostly have actual items (i.e. a new home theater system, mini fridge, etc), but none of them are worth it in my opinion.

        It’s through the CURewards program, if you’re familiar with it – I believe they offer rewards for several other credit unions as well. Not a top-tier rewards program by any means though, cash is much more valuable than their points, in my opinion.

  19. Dave says:

    Hard pull only now? ’cause when I applied two years ago, they also used Chex.

  20. Dave says:

    I’m confused, is the requirement for the 4.59% to make 12 debit transactions as a one-time thing, or 12 debit transactions every calendar month? I get the impression here it’s just once, but Miles Per Day says it is every calendar month.

    • anthonyjh21 says:

      It’s a monthly requirement. You also have to spend $1k/month using their credit card. Unless you’re a circus animal with all alternatives filled (Mango, LMCU for starters) I’d recommend looking for less hoops to jump through.

      • tbradnc says:

        I know, right? I saw a video of a guy riding a unicycle, juggling plates in each hand and a wand balancing a plate on his forehead.

        I immediately thought of all the things I have to keep up with to earn more than 1% interest.

    • LB says:

      You have to complete 12 transactions each month, BUT the effective APY is awarded each month as well. That is, if you meet the requirements every other month, you’ll receive the higher bonus half the time — it isn’t all or nothing.

      • anthonyjh21 says:

        While you bring up a good point I think that if you commit to opening a new credit card solely for the 1.5% bump in APY (on $10k extra) then you should be willing to climb into bed without a rubber and think of it as an all or nothing goal of 4.59%.

        While someone could just start slow and go after the 3.09% rate, you’d also miss an opportunity to merge your hard pull when applying for the credit card at the same time. Suffice to say, this is one of those deals you should know beforehand what you want out of it and are willing to do to obtain.

        I guess you could also play devils advocate here since a TU pull is pretty meh as it’s relatively unused and start slow with the 3.09% rate and then apply later on for the credit card. Still, I think people should pay close attention to the conclusion of this post that William wrote. He couldn’t have summarized the opportunity (and costs) any better.

        I look at these 3%+ accounts as a nest egg for emergency funds/passive income. As soon as you pull out the face paint and hula-hoops it becomes suddenly less passive and more mental CPU taxing. I parked $15k into LMCU and am about to do the same for my wife. That’s $30k at 3% with very little required. DoC has a good write up on LMCU as I’m sure everyone is already aware of.

  21. lumangoy says:

    How is this CU with MO deposits?

    • Matt says:

      They say that their mobile app does accept MO deposits. However, I’ve always had problems trying to get the damn app to recognize any of my checks/MOs.

      Whenever I take a picture of the back of the check, the focus is all messed up (and the app doesn’t allow you to adjust that manually). So it throws an error saying “unfortunately, your check image did not meet the quality image standards”.

      Very frustrating, and I’ve given up on using it. Fortunately, I rarely use checks/MOs, so it hasn’t been a big dealbreaker. If you are, keep this in mind, but also keep in mind that I’m just one isolated data point.

    • Matt says:

      It would probably be better to just use a shared branch location/ATM instead. However, I believe they put a 3-day hold on all shared branch ATM deposits (could be wrong on that exact number though). This includes cash deposits, which is annoying (found out the hard way). They also put holds on in-person (regular) check deposits as well. Never tried a money order deposit in-person or at an ATM before, so I don’t know the answer to that, I’m afraid.

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  23. Nit says:

    Hello,

    Can you have multiple credit cards from Consumers Credit Union?

  24. Dan says:

    I am having trouble finding debit transactions that count. I don’t want to load Serve 12 times…

    Amazon DOES NOT COUNT.

  25. Tom says:

    You can change your Amazon settings so that debit cards are processed as credit purchases. Instructions on how to do it are further up in this subject.

  26. Mike says:

    I’m curious, since this was posted in Kiplingers & on yahoo finance, they are probably getting slammed. I sent a request via msg on their website 2 days ago and no response yet. My fear is getting customer service….they may not have the staff to handle all the new volume. If I decide to go, I will give 1 of you the referral.

  27. Andy says:

    One more data point – applied & opened this account a couple weeks ago. Funded $5 to Savings, $5 to Credit Union Fee and $990 to Checking, all with Chase Marriott Rewards, coded as purchase.

    CSR did contact me to say I could open the Visa without a 2nd pull, and was able to authorize a $10K credit limit, but required a recent paystub and 3 personal references, which I thought was a little odd.

    I will concur that the customer service response has been pretty slow – the new acct specialist I’m working with seems to be out of the office 1-2 days a week every week.

    I’m in it for the long haul – I figure if I can get 3-4.59% APR over several years it will easily pay for some extra hoops to jump through, but that’s me. If Amazon balance reloads don’t work , that may make things more difficult on the debit side.
    One thing I do like – there’s a rewards tracker on the dashboard when you log in to Online banking that tracks your # of debit purchases and amount spent on the card so you know where you’re at each month.

    • lumangoy says:

      I’ve been doing a lot of split transactions lately, so that should help meet your minimum number of transactions per month.

    • lumangoy says:

      I’ve been doing a lot of split payments lately, so that should help meet your minimum number of transactions per month.

  28. Albert H says:

    Anyone able to link their CCCU to their Ally Bank? I got rejected twice… currently trying to do it via Chase.

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  30. David M says:

    —-ACCIDENTALLY POSTED ON THE LAKE MICHIGAN CREDIT UNION PAGE—-

    My account was closed suddenly on September 9. I wasn’t aware that it had been closed until I called the bank on September 12. I only believed I was locked out of my online access.

    A CSR stated that I’d receive a letter that day explaining why the account had been closed. He refused to provide any information to me regarding the closure. The letter I received later that day only stated that “due to your unusual transaction history, Consumers Credit Union has chosen to… close your account.” When I called the bank again to determine what the “unusual transaction history” was, I was told that no other information would be provided to me. When I asked to speak to a manager, the representative suddenly disconnected the call.

    I tried calling back about an hour later, and I was given the same answer, “I’m not obligated to talk to you.” I asked to speak to a supervisor and after a long hold, I was told that a supervisor would call me within two days. I still haven’t received the call.

    I tried calling back from my cell phone today, and the call just rings. No answer. I try calling back from my house and work number, and I get connected immediately. Did the bank block my number???

    The bank did provide me with a cashier’s check when they mailed me the letter on the 12th, but it did not contain my full balance. It’s missing the interest I had accrued this month, and my automatic ACH. I had $15,000 in the account.

    This whole thing just blows me away. I’m shocked. I’ve just finished up my CFBP complaint, and I’m hoping that’ll lead somewhere.

    Anyway, I hope y’all find this useful. I’m furious.

    —-

    I had an incoming international wire for $5,000 that posted on Sept. 5. But I had been working with the bank’s international funding department even before it posted. Other that that, I had my 12 payments post on the 8. Usually I split this between two days, but I made all the Amazon payments on one day… Finally, I tried creating an ACH link with an external account on Sept 6.

    Maybe it was one, or all three reasons [that they closed my account]…?? Who knows.

    • David M says:

      UPDATE

      My CFPB complaint went to NCUA then to IDFPR… CCU did nothing wrong according to IDFPR as of 11/10/2016.

      oh well…

    • Jason says:

      Strange that I couldn’t add Consumers CU onto my Alliant as external account. If your reason for shutting down was that trying to create an ACH link on Sept 6 2016, then most likely my account may be soon be shut down as well. If that happens, my question is that how did other people ACH money in? I don’t see anywhere it allows me to do ACH pull, so I guess I can only do ACH push from other bank accounts.

      But it might be true that you did all 12 debit transactions in one day. They caught you and knew you were taking advantage of that to meet the criteria for higher interest, rather than a normal daily spending behavior. So if you got the interest in the past before shutdown, it sounds to me you were gaming their system and succeeded before but failed sadly in the end.

      Also from the way they reacted to customer, I would be careful when dealing with them. How can they simply hang up or even block the phone call from previous customers?!

  31. Jim says:

    I’m surprised no one has pointed this out:

    The “eXpress Pay” system that you can use to pay our CCU credit card bill allows DEBIT CARDS. Furthermore, it even allows you to specifically select to process the charge as a credit (as opposed to pinless debit).

    Why is this amazing? Because you can pay off your credit card with a PayPal Business Debit card, which pays 1% cashback on transactions processed as credit! You can double-dip the cashback!

    THE CATCH: There is a $3.50 processing fee for paying with a debit card, which eats into your profit. But if you’re spending $1k per month to get the top APR on your checking account, then you’ll tack on an extra $6.50 in cashback even after the fee.

    The question is… how long will this last? Free money never lasts forever.

    • Jason says:

      sounds like their credit card is now like a 2% rewards credit card, paid with their CC and paid their CC with PPBDC, not bad.

      • Jim says:

        OH but it gets even better.

        $500 PayPal My Cash reloads from CVS code as…. grocery! You get 3% cashback from every reload, no shit. I’ve been doing it for 6 months now. I basically print $11 in free money every time I do a $500 reload.

        • Eric says:

          Why would CVS code as grocery instead of drug store? I’ve read that using PayPal My Cash cards can get your PayPal account shut down. You’ve never run into a problem?

  32. Michael Ryan says:

    They closed my account for no reason to avoid paying the advertised bonus. False advertising. Buyer beware!

    • JASON says:

      Can you tell me what you had done with your account that they closed it? Too many inquiries on Chex report? Or other activities?

  33. Jason says:

    Hello DOC, maybe you want to update this post as some info is not accurate anymore.

    None of the credit cards now offer sign-up bonus.

    I’m in New York, banker over the phone advises that they pull Trans Union and Equifax for the checking and credit card. Creditwise from CapitalOne and WalletHub (forgot which bank this comes from) sends alert right away that a new inquiry is added to Trans Union credit report.

    Banker sees 791 on my Trans Union while I see 753 on Credit Karma. My BofA also shows 791. Before applying, according to Credit Karma, 9 inquires on Trans Union and 5 inquires on Equifax.

    Banker asked me over the phone what credit limit I want, I said 5K. I only need the card for reaching the 4.59% rate and meanwhile MS in supermarket (stop and shop allows buying GC with CC). So too high credit limit may lower my chance of getting my 12th CC this year. Not instantly approved but was advised in email within an hour that is approved. Will be using alliant to fund and meet requirement.

    • Thanks, will update post.

    • Jason says:

      I cannot add Consumers CU to Alliant as external account. Going to try other banks.

      • Ryan says:

        Jason,

        What happens when you try to add Consumers to your Alliant account? I was able to do this with no problem, and push a decent chunk of money over.

        Some updates on their policies, etc.:
        1) Hard pull is on TU, not EQ/EX. They do use a soft pull on EQ to generate some identity questions though.
        2) You have up to 60 days after opening the account to reuse the pull for a credit product. DON’T apply online though or it’ll automatically do another HP.
        3) The online tracker seems to be a little slow updating. It may take a day or two to show debit card transactions, etc.
        4) You have to specifically request that remote deposit be turned on (through a rep, or secure message), and your account has to be ‘qualified’. Not sure what the qualifications are though, a credit product isn’t a requirement, nor is account age, but good credit might be.
        5) External ACH transfers are ‘activated’ when you meet the high interest requirements for the first time. They give you your first month free, so in the 2nd month the option should appear in OLB.

        • Jason says:

          Alliant test deposit never shows up in CCU. Once it uses chase and it is posted in 2 days.

          • Ryan says:

            I had a problem with adding a couple of accounts around the holidays to Alliant. There was no test deposit, just a withdrawal. It was very odd. Can you delete & re-add it?

          • JASON says:

            You don’t need to delete it as if you don’t confirm test deposit it will be deleted after a few days

        • JASON says:

          Yeah I finally can add it to alliant

          • Zack says:

            Hey I am thinking about opening this, but how do you guys meet your 12 debits? Reports above mention Amazon GC’s are no bueno. Are you just doing organic spend?

          • Jason says:

            Sometimes staples have student’s notebook for sale at $0.17 each in store only. I buy one banana at stop and shop sometimes at night so there is basically no line. I also pay parking meter with this debit card, $0.25 for 5-15 mins. I load Bluebird/Service with debit cards too, less than $5 each time.

          • Jim says:

            I’ve been doing 50 cent Amazon GC reloads for six months now with no issues. I always get my interest payout.

            However, I will add that I actually use this account as my main checking account, so there are lots of credit card payments and direct deposits flowing through it every month.

  34. Ryan says:

    I do Amazon GC reloads. Just make sure when you add the card to Amazon, that you go back, edit it, and uncheck the box to process it as debit. That way it’ll run as credit. I do varying small amounts usually between 0.69-0.89 – that way they actually look like music purchases 🙂 I’ve had no issues so far with them being recognized & credited to my 12 transactions!

    • Zack says:

      Also does this do a chex inquiry too or just a hard pull? Thanks!

    • Conor says:

      I’ve tried a couple of times to get Amazon GC reloads to register as debit transactions? I unchecked the box to process as debit, but the ticker still has not updated. Did you ever find that it took a few days to register, or am I just out of luck?

  35. Jason says:

    DP: bankers confirms that in order to get their CC, min of 2 years’ credit history required, also they only pull Trans Union for credit card. That being said, they pulled Equifax for my checking.

  36. Alex says:

    I already have a couple accounts with them, but want to open up a couple more for MS purposes (since its $1000 funding from CC each account). I want to use this to meet spend requirements on Citi Business AAdvantage. I saw a datapoint that CITI AADVANTAGE would code as a cash advance, however I’m hoping there is some type of workaround. If i request to lower my cash advance, would this bypass the coding so that it is a purchase?

  37. Mser says:

    Holy crap. My app was declined. First time that’s ever happened for a bank account…

    • Ryan says:

      Mser, sorry to hear about the decline. Did they give you the AA reason yet?

      If you don’t mind sharing some data points:
      1) Any negatives on Chexsystems?
      2) How many inquiries on Chex? (lots?)
      3) # of TU inquiries? TU Score? Negatives?
      4) Did you have EQ unfrozen? They SP that one, along with the TU HP.

    • FU Consumers says:

      Mine too. No reason though w my excellent credit score and bills paid timely i suspect they saw me as a loss. Probably only want customers that wont always pay on time

  38. Landon says:

    Any data on whether you can have more than one of these rewards checking accounts? Didn’t see any indication one way or the other in the T&C.

    • Landon says:

      Called CCU and got a decisive answer. Rewards checking is limited to one account per member. You can be a joint holder of a second account (or third, etc.), and the rep I spoke with said she often sees members sign up with their spouses or an adult child. In that case, each account will be eligible to earn the rewards interest rates.

      The downside is that you have to meet identical requirements for each account to earn the bonus. That means you’d need to open a CCU credit card to go with each checking account, and spend the $1,000 per month to earn the highest rate.

  39. wiger toods says:

    Can someone explain what this statement from the Verdict above means: “due to the 3.59% rate resulting in two hard pulls”? I understand what hard pulls are, but where does the reference to 3.59% come from?

    BTW, I have had a CCU account for over 5 years and love it. I’ve met the 3% requirement almost every time and am considering getting a CCU CC, which is why I’m on this site doing reaserch.

    • Chuck says:

      I think it means that in order to get the 3.59 rate you’ll have to sustain two hard pulls.

      • Ryan says:

        1 HP on TU, 1 SP on EQ

        They’ll reuse the HP for credit products for 30 days I think. (Could be 60, but at least 30) The trick is you have to call them to get them to reuse it, not apply online. The online system auto-pulls, so you would end up with a 2nd HP.

    • Ryan says:

      3.59% is the base rewards rate for meeting the basic qualifications (DD/ACH, 12 debit card transactions, estatements, etc.)

      To get the 4.59%, you need a credit card of theirs and spend $1K per month as well.

      Their cash rebate card is actually really a good card, especially if you spend a fair amount on groceries and/or gas.

  40. dy says:

    The maximum balance for the 3.59% APY tier is $15K, not $20K.

  41. Ryan says:

    Sorry, that’s incorrect DY, it’s $20000
    https://www.myconsumers.org/personal/checking/free-rewards-checking

    I think it used to be $15K a while back, but they upped it to 20K

  42. dk says:

    Can this be account be set up as a business account?

  43. Jamie says:

    I want to do this but how do I determine if this is a good fit vs the Lake Michigan CU + other cards given my spending habits. Its just me, and my monthly spending used to be a minimum of $1K but my health insurance doesn’t accept credit cards anymore($500), I cut off cable, lowered cellphone plan, etc. I also have the Citi 2% cashback, also have a Discover, Chase Freedom and Citi Dividend so I participate in the 5% categories, I also have a current offer of “spend $1000 get 1000 AA miles bonus’ on my Citi AA. At this point, I’m trying to consolidate and find the best over deal. I was thinking this 4.59% rate would be it until I read this post…on losing $10/month Citi 2% 🙁 Is there a topic that covers how to calculate this using your spending habits?

    e.g this month all these cards had a good deal, so I’m left with splitting purchases across 5 cards depending in the category + I have a couple of Rewards checking….I want to consolidate. I wonder if there is a better thread to post this question ….

  44. Ryan says:

    CCU will be a better deal than LMCU regardless if you have the credit card or not. The lowest tier is 3.09% vs 3% at LMCU. The question if the card is better or not will depend on how much money you keep in the account. Here are some examples:
    .002575
    .00299
    .003825

    $1000 (3.09%/3.59%/4.59%)
    2.58/2.99/3.83

    $5000
    $12.88/$14.95/$19.13

    $10000
    $25.75/$29.90/$38.25

    So, on lower balances there’s only a dollar difference, but on 10K it’s 12.50/mo. The other consideration would be how much you spend on groceries and gas. The CCU cash rebate card is 3/2/1, so if you spend more in the 2 bonus categories, it’s a great deal. I make about $15-$20 a month on the cash back + the interest bump, so it works out well for me.

    They’re a great CU, and the interest is hard to beat, even if you don’t have the credit card! Good luck on your decision!

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