Published on July 30th, 2014 | by William Charles81
Lake Michigan Credit Union: 3% Reward Checking Account On Up To $15,000
Offer at a glance
- Interest Rate: 3%
- Minimum Balance: None
- Maximum Balance: $15,000
- Availability: Open to everybody, but must make a minimum donation of $5 to Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis (ALS) Association of Michigan
- Direct deposit required: Yes, no minimum specified
- Additional requirements: Yes, see below
- Hard/soft pull: Hard (TransUnion)
- ChexSystems: No
- Credit card funding: $50 (Previously it was $15,000)
- Monthly fees: None
- Insured: NCUA (62514)
- Receive a 3% interest on balances up to $15,000 when you complete the following requirements:
- Direct deposit into your Max Checking account
- Minimum 10 debit card purchases per month
- Minimum 4 logins to home banking per month
- Be eligible for and sign up to receive eStatements/eNotices
- They’ll also refund up to $15/month in surcharge fees for non-LMCU ATMs
The Fine Print
- Remember that you need to pay taxes on any interest earned
This account does not come with any monthly fees.
The main downside to this deal is the fact they do a hard credit pull. There are several things that I like about this deal though, the fact that you can do credit card funding up to $5,000 is great for those struggling to meet minimum spend requirements on a new credit card (just make sure you set your cash advance limit to $0 before trying). I also like the fact that there are no monthly fees, this means if your money is busy elsewhere (e.g using it for a bank account bonus) you can just leave the account empty and not worry about earning the 3%.
Whenever I open a bank account I try to get at least $100 in value, this is because you can’t open an unlimited amount of checking accounts due to ChexSystems. If you funded this account with a 2% cash back card [best credit cards for non-category spending] you’d earn $100 on just the initial opening deposit and then any money you earned with the 3% interest rate would be a bonus. Because this is a hard credit pull you’d need to get additional value out of this account. I use 1% as my baseline on what you could expect to reasonably earn with a non rewards checking account, this means this account earns at an additional 2% with a maximum of $15,000. This would net an extra $300 before expenses in meeting this bonus rate.
Here is how I’d complete the requirements if I was going to take part:
- Enroll for eStatements
- If you add your LMCU account to Mint, everytime Mint updates it will count as a login
- Purchase 10 * $0.5 amazon gift cards each month
- Setup a recurring direct deposit from my normal checking account (this should trigger the direct deposit requirement)
My total expenses would be $5 per month or $60 per year. This means I’d net a total of $340 and $60 in Amazon gift cards. It’s up to you if this is worth a hard credit pull or not, keep in mind you need to pay taxes on this. I’m personally going to sit this one out, I might do it if I need a quick $5,000 in credit card spend for some reason or another.
They allow mobile check deposit, which might be useful for those doing manufactured spending with money orders. They don’t look to be inquiry sensitive either, it’s also an advantage that they pull TransUnion which most card issuers do not do (apart from Barclays). This deal has been going on since at least July, 2013 so hopefully it continues to last for at least one more year (previously this deal was 4% and 5% respectively for a total of 5 years at least).
We’re going to be posting more rewards checking bonuses in the future, so keep an eye out for them. If you’re unfamiliar with them, we’d recommend reading our introduction which can be found here.