Update 4/1/20: All tiers have been reduced by 0.5%. Maximum rate is now 3.5%
Offer at a glance
- Interest Rate: up to 4% APY
- Minimum Balance: None, $25 initial deposit
- Maximum Balance: $15,000
- Availability: Nationwide, as far as we know.
- Direct deposit required: See below
- Additional Requirements: None
- Hard/soft pull: Soft
- Credit card funding: Limited to $500. Only Visa, Mastercard or Discover. American Express not accepted.
- Monthly fees: None
- Insured: NCUA
- Receive an interest rate of up to 4% APY on balances up to $15,000 when you open an Extreme Checking account with Blue Federal Credit Union. The Interest rate you receive depends on the number of points you have with Blue FCU under their ‘Rewards For Life‘ program. To receive the increased rates, you must do the following (if you fail to meet these requirements, you’ll earn 0% APY. Balances over $15,000 will earn 0.25% APY if the requirements are met):
- Have an automatc deposit or withdrawal set up for the account
- Make 10 debit card purchases per month
- Be enrolled in eStatements
- As mentioned before, the APY you receive depends on the number of points you have. Here are the different tiers:
- Silver (0-5 points): 2%
- Gold (6-8 points): 3%
- Sapphire (9+ points); 4%
You earn points for any of the following things:
Let’s see how easy it is to get these points. To begin with you should be able to get the following points:
- Year of membership: 1 point
- Checking account: 1 point
- Relationship balance of 5k+: 1 point
They have another savings account that earns up to 4.99% APY, but I don’t think that gives you any additional points. Their credit cards aren’t very interesting as there is no sign up bonus and cards earn 1x points. Their share certificate rates aren’t fantastic either. Pretty much everything else is a loan product, how useful they are depends on the rates they offer and the current rates you may be receiving.
The Fine Print
There is no monthly minimum balance required or any monthly fees. If you’re new to Blue Federal Credit Union then you are required to pay $10, $5 goes to the Blue Foundation as a donation and the other $5 is used to set up your membership. There is no early account termination fee according to their fee schedule.
That 4% rate is really tempting, but it’s just way to hard to even get close to it. 3% might be achievable for some people, but even the 2% rate is better than most accounts and the maximum balance of $15,000 is good as well. If I was setting up this account this is what I’d do:
- Enroll in eStatements
- Set up an automatic withdrawal for the interest that exceeds $15,000 every month (this will mean I don’t have funds earning just 0.25% APY and also satisfy the withdrawal requirement)
- Make 10 debit card purchases monthly (using one of these tips)