Update 5/6/20: This page has been fully refreshed and should now provide accurate information.
Offer at a glance
- Interest Rate: up to 4.09%
- Minimum Balance: None
- Maximum Balance: up to $10,000
- 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 (maybe $200 now)
- Monthly fees: None
- Early Account Termination Fee: None
- Insured: NCUA (68588)
- Receive an APY of up to 4.09% on balances up to $10,000 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.
- 2.09% APY on balances up to $10,000 and ATM refunds.
- Complete 12 debit/check card point-of-sale purchases without a PIN
- Receive $500 or more in direct deposits, mobile check deposits or ACH credits
- Receive eDocuments (enroll and accept the disclosure)
- 3.09% APY on balances up to $10,000 and ATM refunds
- Complete all of the 2.09% requirements and
- Spend a minimum of $500 on CCU Visa credit card purchases
- 4.09% APY on balances up to $10,000 and ATM refunds
- Complete all of the 3.09% requirements and
- Spend a minimum of $1,000 on CCU Visa credit card purchases
- 2.09% APY on balances up to $10,000 and ATM refunds.
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.
The Fine Print
- Credit card transactions that post by the 2nd day prior to end of calendar month will count towards the total.
- All transactions received after end of month cut-off will be counted towards the following months qualifications.
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.
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 Rewards Card, 3% Cash Back On Grocery Store Purchases
- 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
I personally think this account only makes sense if you plan to go after the 4.09% rate 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, although those are getting rarer. 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.
Post history/rate history:
- Update 4/15/20: Rates are being decreased by 1% for each tier starting May 1st, 2020. They have also removed the $100 monthly spend required for tier C (lowest rate) and mobile check (remote) deposits now count towards the minimum $500 monthly deposit requirement for tier C. I’ll give this page a full refresh on May 1st to make all of the requirements and tiers clearer.
- This account also has some new requirements, more information here.
- Update 4/8/20: This account is also showing on Swagbucks currently with a $50 bonus. Hat tip to reader Kyle
- Update 1/4/2020: Inactivity fee now added: $5/month after 2 years of inactivity.
- Update 12/10/19: There’s also a $37.50 signup bonus if you go through Swagbucks to signup for this account and meet a debit card requirement. (ht chasingurpoints)
- Update 11/20/19: Top rate is back to 5.09%. Hat tip to Dayn_Perrys_Vape
- Updated info here: Consumers Credit Union Rewards Checking Account Changes (Maximum Balance Decreased, APY Increased)
- August, 2007 – ??: 6.01% on up to $25,000
- Pre October 30th: 3.09%
- October 30th, 2010 – July 1st, 2012: 4.09% APY (maximum of $10,000 balance at this rate)
- July 1st, 2012: Rate dropped to 3.09% APY
- February, 2016: Top rate dropped to 4.59% from 5.09%