Posted by Chuck on November 1, 2017
Checking Accounts

Published on November 1st, 2017 | by Chuck

103

Signature FCU Rewards Checking 3% APY on up to $15,000 [Nationwide]

Offer at a glance

  • Interest Rate: 3% APY
  • Minimum Balance: None
  • Maximum Balance: $15,000
  • Availability: Nationwide
  • Direct deposit required: Yes, $1,000
  • Additional requirements: 10 debit card purchases and e-statements
  • Hard/soft pull: Soft
  • Credit card funding: $500
  • Monthly fees: None
  • Insured: NCUA
  • Expiration date: None listed

The Offer

Direct Link

  • Signature FCU Choice Checking offers 3% APY on balances up to $15,000 when meeting the qualifying activities:
    • Have direct deposit totaling $1,000 or more into your account per month
    • Enroll in Signature e-statements
    • Use your debit card at least 10 times per month for purchases in person or online

Be sure to select the Choice Checking option when signing up. With this account, you can choose one of three benefits: 3% APY, ATM fee waiver, and debit card rewards. We’re focusing on the 3% APY option in this post.

The Fine Print

  • Limit one account per person.
  • High Yield has certain requirements that must be met: The debit card must be used at least 10 times and there must be a total of $1,000 being directly deposited into the account each month. The member must be enrolled in e-statements and can only have one Choice Checking per account. If any of the requirements are not met, the account will earn the standard checking account rate for that month.
  • Balances above $15,000 earn the standard checking APY while balances below $15,000 will earn the High Yield APY.
  • You can even create a personalized design on your Visa debit card to make it stand out in your wallet, and when you pay.
  •  No minimum balance requirement

Avoiding Fees

There aren’t any monthly fees on this account.

Geographic Availability

Signature FCU is available for all to join by enrolling into American Consumer Council for free.

“Still need another way to join? By selecting this option Signature FCU will enroll you into American Consumer Council (ACC), at no cost to you, therefore making you eligible for membership.”

Our Verdict

It seems that this will be a soft pull, has $500 in credit card funding (we still need data points on cash advance), and ACH-transfers count as direct deposit. This is another solid nationwide 3% APY option on up to $15k, similar to Evansville, LMCU, and GLCU. We’ll add this one to our list of Best High-Yield Savings Accounts.

Hat tip to Depositaccounts



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Jill
Jill

According to a manager:
1. It is a soft pull to become a member and to open the Rewards Checking.
2. Initial funding of up to $500 can be done with a credit card.
3. An ACH transfer will count as direct deposit ($1,000 Accumulative per month).
4. 10 debit card purchases either on line or in person.
5. No requirement waiver for first month.

joE
joE

nice, thanks Jill!

Dave
Dave

Doesn’t state any restrictions on direct deposit on the site. This seems like a great deal especially in light of New Buffalo’s updated terms ($15k and right to not pay out if they decide you’re not using as intended).

Emailed them to confirm if it’s a hard pull or soft. Will report back.

MB
MB

Is there some way to see DoC’s updates to old posts?

I access DoC at least once an hour throughout the day, but those updates don’t get “reposted” to the home page, so I had no idea New Buffalo had a change until I saw your comment…

Dave
Dave

Here you have it: Thank you for your interest in joining Signature FCU. In order to open your new account we would perform a soft pull on your credit using a third party provider called Chex Systems. This would show up as an inquiry when other financial institutions use the same system.

joE
joE

thanks for sharing Dave, good stuff!

Ken
Ken

Wonder how sensitive they are to inquiries.

Ryan
Ryan

One of the reviews on deposit accounts complained they were turned down for excessive Chex inquiries. They were able to recon it though.

Ken
Ken

Did they say how many, and in what time frame?

Ryan
Ryan

They didn’t specify how many. They said they asked the CU beforehand if that would be an issue and were told no. Then they were denied and after a few weeks got the account opened. Here’s the review:
https://www.depositaccounts.com/banks/signature-federal-credit-union.html#reviews

Ken
Ken

Thanks.

NBG
NBG

Is the savings account a mandatory requirement?. Also what is that Courtesy Pay?. Just to be sure, i need to select the Choice (High Yield) Checking right?.

Ryan
Ryan

SP is on Equifax, so it will need to be unfrozen:
“Thank you for your interest in joining Signature Federal Credit Union. When joining the credit union we start with a soft pull of your credit score by using Equifax.”

JASON
JASON

Thank you for your interest in an account at Signature Federal Credit Union. One of our membership representatives will be in contact with you shortly.

This is what I got after entering the 5 chex questions

NBG
NBG

Same here.

Ryan
Ryan

Jason & NBG: Do either of you have a high # of Chex inquiries in the past 6-12 months? Looking forward to hearing what they get back to you with – I’ve been considering joining for a couple months but I have probably 10 inqs in the past year.

NBG
NBG

20+ in 1 year. So my chances are slim. Got denied for the ETFCU last month for the same reason.

NBG
NBG

After i replied to your question, i checked my email and saw the e-sign doc for the account opening and also requested 3 docs (Driving license and 2 docs for Address proof). Looks like i am in.

Ryan
Ryan

Oh nice, congrats! I will give them a try then. I didn’t check on here for ETFCU, so I made that mistake a couple of weeks ago, too :\ They never even sent me a notice, I had to go online and check the status manually.

JASON
JASON

19-20 since 10/1/2016. Quite a lot of M&T inquiries I can tell. Received the email from them asking me to E-sign some documents. Not finalized yet. CC initial funding not processed yet

Ryan
Ryan

It seems like this is the standard process. My guess is they SP EQ to generate the questions, do the docusign and documents, and then do the Chex and manually review. Hopefully my INQs won’t be an issue, I’ve been trying to find a decent daily CU and have had some bad luck, so I’ve had several the past year.

Ryan
Ryan

I saw my 2 Chase charges come through for funding, so I logged into the app status website and it says approved! I think this will be a great daily use account for me. And actually as I was typing this, they emailed letting me know that everything would be on its way soon.

JASON
JASON

Update: just received a call in office today from a lady, she’d like to verify my identity as she saw quite a lot of inquiries in my chex report. She asked me where I heard from them I said a website called doctor of credit. She then asked if that was because I’ve been shopping around for highest rate so I simply told her yes. I checked my CC earlier today not processed yet. I think that might take a few more days, but at least it doesn’t sound like a decline to me. Hopefully not.

Ken
Ken

@Jason – Why not just say you found them on a google search for high rate checking? Remember the first rule of Fight Club? I doubt the bank wants a bunch of unprofitable customers which is what we are.

JASON
JASON

@ Ken

Bank needs money in so that they can lend it out. Trust me, they will welcome this post if they see it. At least it’s good to know that they would call applicants to confirm identity instead of simply declining by the system due to too many inquiries on chex report.

By the way, I did send over my driver license, two forms of proof of address and sign the eDoc already. I hope the call from them today could finalize the last step.

Danny
Danny

I’m wondering.. could you e-mail the documents? I’m overseas traveling for a few months, so e-mail would be the only way.

I don’t have any utility bills in my name. I’m wondering did you send them any credit card statements? I could pretty easily do that. Or what documents did they say they accept? Thank you

JASON
JASON

Applied for 2nd time yesterday, finally declined due to too many inquiries in the past 12 months. 20 +. Received an email just now, saying ” if you can show a three month period with no additional inquiries then we would like for you to re-apply and at that point we would reconsider your membership request.”

Meanwhile, Northpointe bank has approved me for their 1.5% saving account, I got my saving account number here. So I think I don’t need to jump on this Signature FCU anymore.

Eric
Eric

Wondering if Chase codes CC funding as a purchase. Should I lower the cash advance to $100 first and try?

Ryan
Ryan

My CSR is set to $100 cash advance limit (the lowest they’d let me set it to) – so when I did funding, I did $150 to savings, and $350 to checking. (The max was $500) I saw two charges this a.m., and a fraud alert for the 2nd. Looks like they came through as purchases!

RB
RB

Hey Ryan, any idea how many bank accounts have you opened in the last 12 months? Are they chex sensitive?

Ryan
Ryan

8 INQs in the past year (not counting the one from Signature FCU), but 4 of them are from UNFCU because they’re horrible. So really, 4 unique ones.

RB
RB

Thank you for the info. This is really helpful to make my decision as to whether to apply or not.

I have a total of 13 since Nov 16′ to Nov 17′. Of which 3 were the Discover Savings, AAA & AAII. I am not sure if they I would get only 1 Chex inquiry for this or 3.

Also, I opened a BOA checking account back in Nov 16′ and then opened a savings account around Jun 17′. Not sure if this is considered as 2 inquiries on my chex.

Will go ahead and apply and see if I am lucky enough to get approved.

Could not apply for any of the high yield savings accounts as all the requires you to be a US citizen or Green Card holder.

Signature did not mentioned anything about that. All they want is a SSN, valid ID like Drivers Licence and address proof. Hoping I will get approved.

pjb44
pjb44

RB , were you able to get approved for this? I am in the same boat..

RB
RB

Yes. It’s been almost 9 months since I got approved for this account and everything has been going fine.

pjb44
pjb44

Thanks RB!

Pjb44
Pjb44

RB , did you contact signature FCU? their application only gives option has perm resident/citizen..what about resident alien?

Thanks!

RB
RB

I don’t remember. But they did let Resident Aliens (Non US Citizen or Green Card Holder) to apply. Not sure if something changed recently. Please contact them directly.

Pjb44
Pjb44

RB Thanks!! Being non resident with valid things is literally pain! no CCU, no Heritage account..I have contacted FCU directly, hope their is another way! I will updpate.

Pjb44
Pjb44

DP. Their policies got updated as only Citizens and Perm Resident allowed as members. Confirmed with rep. bummer.

Ken
Ken

If you’re not a citizen or green card holder how do you have a SSN? Work/education visa?

Lrdx
Lrdx

There are like a hundred ways to get an SSN legally..

Ace Malik
Ace Malik

Great deal if you use your debit card anyways, i always use my credit card for purchases, but i have a similar account that requires 12 debit purchases and i got about $27 this mth but spent about $15 so im left with a gain of $12 versus leaving $15k in a CIT account getting $14 for doing nothing

The $15 in purchases that is typically things i wouldnt normally, usually a kombucha or something

I have used amazon gift cards at varying amounts under a buck but i dont want to risk a shutdown

Paula Hoelzel

This is Paula Hoelzel, the director of membership with the Signature FCU. You can contact the membership department of our credit union directly with questions. The email address is :
newaccounts@signaturefcu.org

After this posting we received a high volume of applications and we are working hard to verify everyone;

JasonP
JasonP

Ms. Hoelzel, do you know if the 10 debit card purchases have to be signature based? The supermarket near me always requires a PIN for debit transactions. Thanks!

Ian Pearson
Ian Pearson

I asked a similar question via email. Any use of the debit card (pin or otherwise) for a non-ATM transaction counts towards the usage requirements.

NBG
NBG

DP: Got my account opened successfully with 20+Chex this year. Also of note, i asked about the 10 debit card transaction requirement – i was told it can be pin/pinless (basically swipe the card in store or online).

Best part – in the bankers own words – to maximize savings of 3%, do small amount transactions in store or online (like pack of gum, coffee, etc).

We all know what to do 🙂

So far, seems like a good place with simple requirement.

Ryan
Ryan

Some DPs from my experience so far:
1) I called and they got me setup w/ online banking. It’s not too bad, better than Consumers CU 🙂 It said I wasn’t eligible for outside ACH, so I need to call and find out when you can access that. Billpay actually offers more e-biller options than Checkfree.
2) Spoke with one of the lending reps today. They use EQ Beacon score, and she said 730+ will get the best rate. Lowest CC is 8.7% and LoC is 8.9%, so they have some pretty competitive rates. Too bad they don’t use FICO08 – my Beacon is 65 points lower (727 vs 792). Oh well, I’ll wait til after the first of the year, and I should be above the threshold.
3) Everyone I’ve spoken with/talked to has been very friendly so far. Always a good sign!

RB
RB

@ Ken – I am here on a work visa through which I got my SSN

Ken
Ken

Gotcha. So many visas, I didn’t know you could get a SSN with just a visa. I wonder if other countries are like this too so I can open a bank account overseas once we move out of the country.

Ryan
Ryan

I found out today that you can’t use shared branching for 30 days, and they don’t make exceptions. I went to my local credit union to make a (cash) deposit so I could start getting things setup, and it kept telling him “restricted card”. So I called Signature, and she told me about the restriction. I didn’t get an answer yet on mobile deposit or “FI to FI” (as they call it), but I’m guessing the same restrictions probably apply.

NBG
NBG

DP: My funding of $500 (495+5) via BoA Merrill+ coded as purchase.

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