[Dead] First Financial CU 5% Checking Account on up to $2,500 [Nationwide]

This account is no longer offered. View more high yield accounts by clicking here.

Offer at a glance

  • Interest Rate: 5.00% APY
  • Minimum Balance: None
  • Maximum Balance: $2,500
  • Availability: Nationwide (see below)
  • Direct deposit required: No
  • Additional requirements: 15 debit signature purchases
  • Hard/soft pull: Hard pull
  • Chex Inquiry: Yes
  • Credit card funding: Unknown
  • Monthly fees:  None 
  • Household limit: None
  • Insured: NCUA

The Offer

Direct Link to offer

  • First Financial Credit Union offers their High 5 checking account which gives 5% APY on balances up to $2,500.

To be qualify for the 5% APY rate, the following two things are necessary:

  • 15 signature debit card purchases each statement period
  • Be enrolled in e-statements

The account also offers ATM refunds, up to $10 per month. And another benefit is that you get Buzz Points for debit card purchases. I don’t know what these points are worth.


The credit union is based out of Illinois and those who live in parts of Illinois can join free. Anyone else can join by donating to SitStayRead or Resources for Community Living. As far as I can tell, even a $1 donation will make you eligible.

The Fine Print

  • Balances over $2,500 will earn just .10% APY

Our Verdict

Should be pretty easy to get this 5% account by doing fifteen small debit signature purchases each month, though this one is only on $2,500 which means it’ll max out at $125 per year. The terms state that there’ll be a Chex inquiry and it sounds like there’ll be a hard pull too (“credit score and chexsystems record are obtained during the approval process”). Hopefully, we’ll get more data points on this in the comments.

Check out our list of Best Savings Accounts to see other good high-interest account options. We’ll add this one to that post in the list of more restrictive options.

Hat tip to reader Revil

Notify of

oldest most voted

Jamia Rogers
Jamia Rogers (@guest_702274)
January 8, 2019 02:31

Program Update
All of us at First Financial CU and Buzz Points want to thank you for your participation in the Buzz Points rewards program. While we enjoyed sharing rewards with you, First Financial CU and Buzz Points are discontinuing our partnership as of October 31, 2018.

William Charles
January 8, 2019 19:44

Is the 5% account still available?

AllwaysLearning22 (@guest_671176)
November 12, 2018 01:44

BTW: The info on this page is outdated. This is my primary checking account. They rolled everyone to the new “Secure First Checking” product. It pays 3% on up to 10K when you use your debit card 15 times for the month (Amazon loads work)

MG (@guest_409157)
May 22, 2017 13:19

Walked into a branch today, they said non-locals can donate minimum $25 to https://www.sitstayread.org plus $5 minimum to a savings account. They pull TransUnion and ChexSystems. I think it is really only worth it if you’ve already maxed out other 5% options.

Kyle Lawrence
Kyle Lawrence (@guest_528299)
December 1, 2017 17:53

I was wondering if anyone could give me a referral to First Financial Credit Union? I live outside of the range, but would love an account. I believe you receive a reward for it!

Craig (@guest_545921)
January 2, 2018 12:58

I have had an account for several years. I live close to one of the branches. There are no referral codes that I know of.

Craig (@guest_545922)
January 2, 2018 13:02

Forgot to mention: This is my primary checking for several years. There are several ‘unusual’ / ‘caveats’

1) There is a hard pull on your credit to open the account
2) You have to send a paper copy of a bill and/or a voided check to add an external bank for ACH
3) You can schedule recurring ACH pull/push only via the mobile app. The web UI does not allow you to do so

Matt (@guest_409045)
May 22, 2017 01:17

Im getting a 404 Error when I go to apply. was anyone actually able to apply? I just wanted to see if there was credit card funding lol.

Jake (@guest_409008)
May 21, 2017 22:58

I think the most attractive options for high apy accounts would be in the following order:

1.) Insight (5k @ 5%)

2.) NetSpend, WU, Ace Elite, Brinks, HEB (1k each @ 5%)

3.)North Pointe (10k @ 5% + 15 purchases)

There are more options but they get pretty bad pretty fast. With this setup you will need $20,000 and you will net $1,000 a year in interest.

jf (@guest_408957)
May 21, 2017 20:01

Well its better than nothing. To anyone that really really wants 5%, I would try to find at least 10k….then get amex serve, set it to $0.01 a day

DirtyLilRat (@guest_408963)
May 21, 2017 20:19

What do you mean? Amex serve is paying 5%?

jf (@guest_408966)
May 21, 2017 20:21

No, I mean amex serve is a nice lazy feature to have, if the only requirement is 10 or 15 debit transactions to trigger the high yield, then you use it instead of paying comcast or amazon etc

Serve (@guest_408977)
May 21, 2017 20:57

You will probably get you serve shut down in three months if you do this way.

DirtyLilRat (@guest_408940)
May 21, 2017 18:28

But only $2500? Come on…..

Marshall (@guest_408939)
May 21, 2017 18:28

Not worth the hassle apparently

gman (@guest_409183)
May 22, 2017 14:44

Agreed.. 5 purchases per month maybe. 15 is too much.