Published on August 28th, 2016 | by Chuck42
Alden Credit Union 5% Rewards Checking Account, up to $5,000 [MA only]
Offer at a glance
- Interest Rate: 5.125% APY (5% actual rate)
- Minimum Balance: None, $10 minimum to open
- Maximum Balance: $5,000
Nationwide, anyone can join by becoming a member of ACC for $5Must live within 100 miles of branch, all branches in MA. [Branch Locator]
- Direct deposit required: Yes
- Additional requirements: Yes, see below
- Hard/soft pull: Soft
- ChexSystems: Yes
- Credit card funding: Unknown
- Monthly fees: None
- Early Account Termination Fee: Yes, $25 within 3 months
- Insured: NCUA
- Alden Credit Union offers 5.125% APY on their ‘Nuff Said checking account on balances up to $5,000
Any portion of the balance above $5,000 will earn the standard .1%.
To get the 5% rate, the following qualifications must be met:
- Must make 20 point-of-sale (POS) or signature based transactions per billing cycle with your debit card
- Must enroll in eStatements, Online Banking, and Mobile Banking
- Must set up Direct Deposit
Becoming a Member
There are three ways to be eligible to become a member of Alden Credit Union:
- Those who live in the counties of Hampden or Hampshire in Massachusetts are automatically eligible
- Family members of members are automatically eligible
- Most of us will become eligible by joining American Consumer Council (ACC) for $5
The Alden application form indicates that they’ll automatically pay the fee for ACC membership if you choose the ACC option. It seems that even if you are an existing member of ACC, you’ll end up paying the fee again.
The form does not specify how much ACC membership is, but the fee is $5 so that should be the amount they take from your account to cover the fee.
When joining the credit union, you’ll also have to buy a $25 share to join. That money is frozen as a share of the credit union; you can get it back should you decide to terminate your membership.
There aren’t any monthly fees or any other fee we know about.
We also haven’t found any mention of an early termination fee, but there isn’t any monthly fee so it doesn’t matter much.
Interesting to see another 5% checking account option, one that just recently came into play in July, apparently.
We don’t know if they do a hard pull or not, so that’s obviously a big question mark here. Hard pull aside, it’s a good deal overall since we can automate most of it and benefit the 5% rate pretty easily.
- Enroll in eStatement, online banking, and download the app to enroll in mobile banking
- Set up a monthly automated direct deposit to the account; hopefully, a small monthly ACH transfer will do the trick
- Make 20 small purchases per month on the card, e.g. a $.50 Amazon reload or other options
For the hassle of making twenty small debit transactions per month, you’ll get interest of around $21 per month, or $250 per year.
One hesitation I have here is that recently both Netspend and Mango throttled their high-interest savings rate, and it’s always possible that Alden will do the same in six months or a year from now. In any case, assuming no hard pull it might be worth the hassle.
We’ll add this Alden checking account to our full list of high-interest accounts.
Hat tip to depositaccounts