Posted by Chuck on February 5, 2020
High-Yield APY Accounts

Published on February 5th, 2020 | by Chuck

83

Elements Financial 1.90% APY Savings Account; Rate Guaranteed for 1 Year

Update 2/24/20: Rate decreased from 2.10% to 1.90%.

Offer at a glance

  • Interest Rate: 2.10% APY, guaranteed for 1 year
  • Availability: Nationwide
  • Hard/soft pull: Soft
  • ChexSystems: Yes (note: they are Chex sensitive).
  • Credit card funding: None
  • Monthly fees: None
  • Min/Max: Minimum $2,500; max $250,000
  • Insured: NCUA

The Offer

Direct Link to offer

  • Elements Financial is offering their Helium Savings accounts with a rate of 2.10% APY. Rate guaranteed for one year.

The Fine Print

  • Helium Savings Annual Percentage Yield (APY) effective as of October 1, 2019.
  • Helium Savings Promotion APY of 2.10% is for new Helium accountholders depositing a maximum $250,000 new money from other financial institutions.
  • Rate is good for the first 1 year (12 statement cycles) from account opening.
  • Money on deposit with Elements financial over the last 90 days is not eligible for the Promotion APY.
  • Existing Helium accountholders do not qualify for offer.
  • After the 1-year promo period, dividend rate will reset to the then current Helium Savings rate and may change without notice.
  • Average daily balance of $2,500 required to earn dividends.
  • Fees may reduce earnings.

Our Verdict

Currently, there are a few other banks offering rates in the 2%+ range, but having the year-guarantee is pretty nice for the event of rates going down. This could be worthwhile for someone with a lot of cash on hand.

The closest thing to this deal would be the Marcus 11-month no-penalty-CD, but this offer is for longer, a slightly better rate, and the money is fluid.

Hat tip EDUARDO BAEZ



83
Leave a Reply

avatar
 

  Subscribe  
newest oldest most voted
Notify of
Zack
Zack

This is personal accounts only, not business, right?

Marry Williams
Marry Williams

Based in Indiana for all those that care if it’s a Trump or Hillary state

William Charles

wat

living on the edge
living on the edge

Irrelevant.

das1996
das1996

As this is a credit union, any particular requirements to become a member?

Already have an ascent savings with customer’s bank, 2.25% apy good through 6/30/2020. Probably a good idea to open this as a fall back for when that expires.

Mikey
Mikey

There are LOTS of us out there with Customers’ accounts (as well as grandfathered 2.2% First Foundation which could drop at any moment) who share your concern. Usually I take a day or two to consider offers. But Im applying today because I’ve got a hunch this rate guarantee will disappear sooner rather than later. Just too many banks out there offering 1.6-1.8% now.

Slip6
Slip6

Guess you got in when Customer’s Bank was offering a good rate, seems like it’s 1.25% now.

Dan
Dan

Just got an email notice from customers yesterday that they will no longer accept new applications for that account, though they will still honor their guaranteed rate thru June. I bet it’ll drop a lot after.

jp P thoms
jp P thoms

I wonder what their “ouch” threshold is regarding funds coming in @ 2.10%, what that amount is? Probably 99% of new accounts were coming in from out of Indianapolis or the state for that matter. Guaranteed till June, thought it was 12 month? How many that applied actually got account opened?

Slip6
Slip6

He’s referring to his rate at Customers Bank that is guaranteed til June but no longer accepting new apps.

jp P thoms
jp P thoms

My mistake, misread the post.

Alex
Alex

So many options, what do i select?
Member Savings
Helium Savings Promo
Special Savings
Helium Savings
Hide Away Savings
Grow Account
Credit Builder Savings
Premium Money Market Savings

ns
ns

there is a 5$ eligibility charge?

Slip6
Slip6

Pretty sure not. They say they’ll even deposit the $5 into our account for us. Or at least something to that effect.

Slip6
Slip6

Was getting 2.5% with Northern Bank, but they dropped it to 1.75% last month so I’m looking for a new bank. It was a bit of a PITA transferring money back and forth, so now I’m looking for one where I can transfer instantly to a checking account at same bank, which I would use to pay bills.

Looks like their checking account is offering 3% up to $20k with 15 transactions. Would credit card autopays setup to withdraw count towards the 15 txns? If so this would be perfect…I figure I probably will have 5-10 autopays every given month, and I can make a couple other payments in advance to make sure I hit the 15.

Slip6
Slip6

Fine print:

Premium dividend on account(s) with 15 qualifying transactions per statement cycle. Only the following are qualifying transactions: Debit card purchases, checks, bill payments, ATM withdrawals and ACH withdrawals. No other transactions qualify.

https://www.elements.org/personal/checking/high-interest-checking/

Hmm, I guess if the CC autopays don’t count, I could setup 15 ACH withdrawals each month in advance.

Jon
Jon

Seems like its not worth the extra .9% on only 20k for all that hassle.

Slip6
Slip6

Yeah normally I wouldn’t bother with any savings accounts that have a low cap (max $10-20K) and require monthly activity like debit transactions. But this is different:

– 3.0% up to $20K for checking, and 2.1% in savings up to $250K

– both accounts at same bank, so I can transfer cash from savings instantly if I forgot about a autopay debit going out tomorrow. Otherwise, I’m looking at 0.01% APR for the funds in my day to day checking account, usually $10K+.

– IF my normal activities count (such as autopays), then it’s less hassle. I can’t schedule debit transactions, but I can always schedule even 15 recurring ACH withdrawals way in advance. So essentially set and forget.

EDUARDO BAEZ
EDUARDO BAEZ

You can pay your credit cards using Elements Financial Online Bill Payments feature since online bill payments count.

Sam F.
Sam F.

And do several (weekly?) small payments to several cards.

EdwardD
EdwardD

From another bank, if I initiate a pull from Elements checking, will Elements count that ACH transfer as an ACH withdrawal transaction?

Also it’s checking account allows for free 40 checks.
Does Elements automatically send you the free 40 checks after you are approved for checking account?

jp P thoms
jp P thoms

I believe that to be the case since it is an external ACH withdrawal. Would not count if you you were doing an intra account transfer from checking to savings. I’ve found it easy to push funds from the checking via bill pay, $1.01 or 1.02 each week to my credit cards, and via transfer money option $15.03, $16.04, $17.05 once a week, and that suffices for the 15 transactions. As for the checks, I had to call and inquire and it had to be manually added, but it claims to be free from the start, if you did not get them, give them a call or via chat.

Ig
Ig

A landline is a required field on the form. Wonder if they really require that.

Ig
Ig

Took forever to get through but a phone rep told me a mobile number is fine.

Stephen
Stephen

Does anyone know if you’re supposed to do Helium Savings or Helium Savings Promo? Both options lead to a page allowing (but not requiring it seems) an promo code…(And this offer doesn’t seem to have one.) Thanks!

Ricky
Ricky

You should apply for the Helium Savings Promo account.

jp P thoms
jp P thoms

Opened with $100, need to pay $5 for a membership

DaveC
DaveC

Do I have to deposit everything at once to get the 2.1%? For example, if I create an account and deposit $2500 now, can I deposit $50K more next week and still get 2.1% for the $50K too?

rocky_NNC
rocky_NNC

the account has promo not just the funding. confirmed from bank.

rocky_NNC
rocky_NNC

The external transfers initiated through your Elements Online Banking are limited to $5000 per transfer, $10,000 per day, and $50,000 per month.

DaveC
DaveC

What’s the alternative? ACH from the funding bank?

jp P thoms
jp P thoms

I’m getting a bad feeling about this account, I called and they told me it was $2k per day ACH limit if initiated from their site. That’s not necessarily a problem since I’d be pulling out from Marcus or others that credit the account immediately, but hold for the 5 days (no limit if initiated from external bank) Similar situation with Simple Bank, they’ve got limits for outgoing, but no problems pulling above the limits, so we’ll see how that works.

Mikey
Mikey

The monthly limit varies by individual, Each person needs to verify the amount.

DaveC
DaveC

Has someone confirmed we choose Helium Savings Promo?

Slip6
Slip6

I just signed up and chose that one. Makes the most sense. Max e-check to fund account is $2,500. Anyone can join with $5 membership fee to TruDirection. Last bank account I opened was over a year ago, in terms of Chex. Went pending with following message:

Thank you for using our online account application. A Elements Financial representative will email you within one business day with instructions for completing the application process. We look forward to opening your new accounts at Elements Financial .

Widjet
Widjet

They follow-up on that about a day later with a request for a copy of DL and recent bill confirming your address. I’m still waiting for a final response having sent those documents.

das1996
das1996

Denied!

Yup, chex sensitive. Opened about 18 accounts in the last 18 months. P2 has fewer, so might give that a go.

Mikey
Mikey

As a Northern Bank and Popular Direct refugee (due to rate cuts) I applied for this account yesterday, $2500 deposit posted same day and withdrawn from my other account today. Clarified with rep (not a long hold time) the following:

1). You lose interest for the entire month if balance dips below $2500 at any time. But no other fees.

2) ACH pulls or pushes from Elements end limited to $5K but you can do 2 of these per day. You have to call to get your overall monthly limit.

3) You can order an ATM card and pay no fees IF you use only the COOP network. Daily limit is $515, best part is these withdrawals do not count against your 6 per month.

Hope this helps.

jp P thoms
jp P thoms

Looks like their call center is spread out over different states and not at one central location, ie Indianapolis, IN. I spoke with a supervisor and she seemed to be confident in her answers, so here goes: The main concern was the ACH pulls and pushes from EXTERNAL CHECKING/SAVINGS account, I was told that if initiated outside of Elements, there is no limit, but she did mention that a $200K pull was flagged but allowed after verification. Also, good to know about the balance if dips below the $2500 level, interest is lost totally for that month, so if you are going to close out at the end of the promo, make sure it is at the $2500 till end of month and pull it out on the 1st of the next month. The high interest checking is fee free if enrolled in e statements. The 15 transactions can be any bill pays for $1 each to credit card, but tread lightly since they may claim that is not the “true meaning” of the account. Some more restricting requirements of other banks are the debit card purchases which are harder to complete cheaply.

Slip6
Slip6

Appreciate the info. According to rep, if I setup Amex CC autopay to pull monthly balance from this account, it would count as one of the 15 transactions for the high interest checking as it would be an ACH withdrawal.

But not going to chance it, so I’ll probably also setup 15 recurring billpays to my CCs, water bill, Internet, and electric bills. Maybe Netflix if I can as well.

jp P thoms
jp P thoms

Well, that’s exactly what they want in a member, someone who uses the account to pay bills etc, “the spirit of the account” If paying monthly bills then it makes sense to keep at but not above the $20K threshold, since above $20K, interest is minimal and would need to keep ACHing $ in to cover bills. I guess my way of thinking is probably not what they want, ie, bill pays to cc in $1.00 incrementally to $1.15 to cover the 15 transactions. I inquired about this and they did not say that was not allowed, any ACH out or anything leaving the account.

jp P thoms
jp P thoms

I finally got response about my denial and it was “human error” which caused the membership to be declined. They mentioned that they had been getting an influx of applications in the past week, but they mentioned that it was available for a number of months, maybe the DOC effect. I guess I will open up the high interest checking account to take advantage of the 3% up to $20K

das1996
das1996

What question did you ask to inquire about why the account was closed?

jp P thoms
jp P thoms

the account was never opened and said could not verify ID, I tweeted to Elements and finally someone called to let me know of the “human error” and account was opened.

Thank you for your application to join Elements Financial. We appreciate your interest in utilizing our services, however, we are unable to approve your membership at this time. Elements Financial uses multiple tools to verify the identity of applicants and, unfortunately, we were unable to verify yours. We encourage you to visit one of our branch locations to be verified in person.

Thank you for considering Elements!

Elements Financial FCU

Slip6
Slip6

BTW, I opened checking a day after I opened savings, and funded each account with $2500 from different external bank accounts.. The $2500 showed up in my savings Friday, and then mysteriously was transferred into my checking. Have a ticket open to investigate.

Slip6
Slip6

Nice! Glad you followed up and were able to open.

Slip6
Slip6

BTW, I’m loving their interface where you can link your bank accounts and CCs so you can view all in one place.

willy
willy

I opened an account last week and finally spoke with customer service and set up online banking today.

The rep insisted that my 2.1% APY promo account will earn the 2.1% APY any day my balance is $2,500 or above. That contradicts the above. I am not sure what to do, since today is the 10th, once my links are set up, I don’t want to risk moving a large sum of money into the account halfway through the month, just to earn no interest on it at all for 15(ish) days? But the CSR insisted that wouldn’t happen.

jp P thoms
jp P thoms

Data Point regarding the $2500 minimum to earn interest. If you go below that amount, you do no lose what interest has been accrued, but rather it stops earning interest when below the $2500 level. Once it goes back above the $2500 then interest begins to accrue, and if you only had 20 days of accrued interest that’s the amount that will be credited. Thought that was wrong when I read it again. Goes to show you that most times the customer or DOC followers tend to know more about bank policies than the CSR’s that should know more.

jp P thoms
jp P thoms

I followed up with the copy of drivers license and copy of bank statement to verify address and ID, but got an email that I was not approved. I’ve had minimal account opening over past year, interesting to find out why?

Thank you for your application to join Elements Financial. We appreciate your interest in utilizing our services, however, we are unable to approve your membership at this time. Elements Financial uses multiple tools to verify the identity of applicants and, unfortunately, we were unable to verify yours. We encourage you to visit one of our branch locations to be verified in person.

Thank you for considering Elements!

Elements Financial FCU

jp P thoms
jp P thoms

I’m kind of glad that account did not get approved, I’ve left 2 requests for call backs from supervisors and they claim by the end of the day, but nothing. Now that I think of it and after reviewing some of the reviews about the customer service, it makes sense now. What do they usually mean when they claim they can’t verify my identity with license copy and bank statement, since never had that happen before? 10 basis points over the Marcus 11 month 2.00% no penalty CD is not worth the hassle.

Slip6
Slip6

Sorry to hear, it doesn’t really make sense.

I never got a request for DL and bank statement, but I think that’s because I was able to correctly answer the 3 ID verification questions during signup.

jp P thoms
jp P thoms

I’m sure that I answered the 3 questions correctly, what county I had previously lived in, color of car in 2002 and hair color on drivers license.

Widjet
Widjet

I did get the request for the DL and recent bill but was approved after that. I answered the ID verification questions correctly. So not sure there is a pattern there.

Slip6
Slip6

In order to link an external bank to this Elements account, many banks will deposit 2 small test amounts of less than $0.50, and then withdraw those same amounts a couple days later.

Anyone happen to know if 2 small withdrawals would count against the 6 withdrawal limit for the savings account, at Elements or any other banks?

jp P thoms
jp P thoms

It depends on how the external bank claws back the trial deposit, if cumulative amount, then its just one withdrawal, is taken out as deposited then two.

Slip6
Slip6

Thanks JP! So it definitely counts, as either 1 or 2 of the 6 allowed. That sucks that there isn’t an algorithm to detect it’s not a real withdrawal. But good to know, thanks again.

DP719
DP719

Some banks (e.g. Purepoint, Marcus) do not take trial deposits back so I use them whenever possible.

Slip6
Slip6

Thanks, appreciate the info!

Slip6
Slip6

I called and according to rep she said they don’t count towards the 6 withdrawals, but not sure if she’s correct. Have a secure message in to confirm.

Slip6
Slip6

BTW, rep was wrong. Secure message said any withdrawals including test ones count toward the 6.

Jimbo

Talked to Elements on the phone. They told me $5,000 ACH transfer limit going in or out and initiated either externally or from Elements. I requested a higher limit but doesn’t look good. You can do multiple transfers per day but $10,000 is the daily limit as I understand it. Kinda wish I didn’t open an account now 🙁

jp P thoms
jp P thoms

The push or pull $5k ACH limit per transaction $10K per day is ONLY if the ACH is initiated from Elements. If push or pull ACH is initiated for example at Marcus, then it does not fall under Elements limitations, only the limitations of the initiating bank requesting the ACH, which from what I noticed at Marcus, does not exist, or is high enough that does not affect me. Key here is that any deposits or withdrawals from Elements should be done by your “trusted HUB” to quickly and painlessly add or deduct funds.

jp P thoms
jp P thoms

They must process their ACH’s in the afternoon, I had pushed $10K from Simple, scheduled it yesterday, left account today and its pending in Elements in the afternoon. So data point, there is no $5K limit if being pushed in from an external bank. I think the interest is based on average daily balance, and since only opened with $100 posted on 2-11 and pushed in $2500 that posted today, I’ll see if the Dividend rate changes from 0.00% Overall, website is quite useful, lots of features. I don’t see any problems with fulfilling 15 transactions since ACH’s count towards total. If I am able to use the bank to bank transfer with the high interest checking then it will be easy, if not and need to use the bill pay, then a bit more cumbersome but not that big of a deal since I can set up automatic payments for the 5 accounts once a week.

Jimbo

Are you sure Elements doesn’t restrict external ACH pulls? Gotta plan the eventual exist strategy! If they limit those to $5,000 that’s a deal breaker and I won’t be putting in big money.

jp P thoms
jp P thoms

I have not pulled any $ out yet, but my DP is I pushed in $10K twice without any problems. I’m as confident as I can be without testing. I understand your concern and I experienced it with Simple, they had only 10K limit out, so I bypassed that with Marcus and pulled it all out, but need to wait for those funds to clear before I can push it to Elements. My backup is that I opened a high interest checking, so if need be can can journal $$ to Elements checking and then write a check for the balance. DP the external bank transfer is next day, and it counts towards the 15 transactions/month to get the 3% up to $20K. I was able to add Elements to Marcus and Simple, via the Plaid verification, so it was instant. I have a bunch of $1.xx bill pays to credit cards, just testing payment speed, that’s what I told them when I spoke with them and they kept on saying that there was no minimum for bill pay, as of now. That qualification does give me pause and in theory this description of qualifying events for 15 transactions is much more liberal than 15 debit card transactions (ie, 15 AMZN gift cards for $.50 to $.64) that was a hassle. Overall, I’m impressed with the features and capability of both accounts. I would definitely open the high interest and keep it topped off at $20K, the additional $15 in 3% vs 2.10% covers the $15 or so in bill payments.

EdwardD
EdwardD

The Helium Savings 1-year promotional rate has been reduced 1.9% APY.

willy
willy

I came here to post the same thing. I’m glad I opened this account earlier this month! It doesn’t impact those who already signed up for the guaranteed 2.1% rate, correct?

My “Dividend Rate” still is showing 2.08% today when I log in to my account.

jp P thoms
jp P thoms

So I guess there is some pain threshold in their pocket in having to pay out 2.10% guaranteed for 12 mos.14 business days after being promoted on DOC. I was informed that is account was available since Oct 2019, but if a tree falls in the woods and there is no one is there to hear it, then did it really fall? I think, and I hope, with the high interest checking since it is capped at $20K, then their expose is extremely limited so they will keep it at that rate to tease new $$.

MImiMI
MImiMI

Looks like im approved for an Elements Rewards Checking Acct. EZ just drivers license and proof of address statement like bank account or credit card acct., they seem to accept anythng.

Steve
Steve

William Charles fyi, this dropped to 1.90%

DaveC
DaveC

I opened my account over a week ago when it was 2.1%, but just deposited the minimum $2500. If I put in more now, will that get 1.9% or 2.1%?

jp P thoms
jp P thoms

Now would be the time for everyone that opened Helium Savings account to make sure that they opened the Helium Savings Promo. When I opened, I kept on going back and forth to view the Helium while opening and I just opened the Helium savings. The promo one is the correct one. If you opened the account when it was 2.1% then you are set for 12 monthly statements at that rate.

Dan
Dan

Ugh I knew it was going to drop soon with the feds talking about a rate cut.. I missed out on the higher rate.

midas89
midas89

I agree with you, Dan. Oh, by the way, CNBC is reporting that there is a 100% chance the Fed will lower the Fed Funds Rate 3/4 of a percent at the March 17-18 meeting. (I hope not, but I fear it might be true, especially if the stock market does not rebound by then.)

Dan
Dan

I thought this bank might wait until next week to drop their guaranteed rate but looks like I missed it by a few days. I was waiting because I already have a rate guarantee of 2.25% with CB until July, but I really should’ve signed up here as the Corona virus started spreading. The only downside with my current rate is that it has $25k min balance so I can’t move too much money around.

hailstate
hailstate

This appears to be down to 1.3% now.

jp P thoms
jp P thoms

Update: For those that also opened the high interest checking account that was @ 3%, it was lowered to 2% as of 3-19-20. In hindsight, its a decent checking account, but if you have the 12 month promotion for the Helium savings, then its a no brainer to mover $ back to that account. They are next day transfers to external banks but the limit is $5K so not good for a hub, but good for just general banking. I spoke with multiple reps at Elements and they assured me that they will fulfill their promotion of 12 months @ 2.10%. For the time being, outside of the CIBC or Ally promotion, this will house the remaining funds.

Rick
Rick

Does moving money from the Elements checking to the 2.1% savings count as “new money”? If it doesn’t, you’ll have to move it out of Elements then back in. Kind of ridiculous…

Back to Top ↑