Which credit unions offer deposit accounts paying more than 3% interest?

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index2max
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Which credit unions offer deposit accounts paying more than 3% interest?

Post by index2max »

Hi all,

Already maxing out my retirement accounts and looking for credit unions to store my taxable principle at high interest.

I need credit unions with deposit account(s) paying at least 3% interest annually. Don’t mind getting transactions done, but only if there is no minimum purchase amount specified and no monthly service fee charge if I meet their requirements.

I currently use the following credit unions already:

1. Evansville Teachers Federal Credit Union (IN):

Vertical checking paying 3.3% up to $20,000

2. Lake Michigan Credit Union (MI):

Max checking paying 3.0% up to $15,000

3. Sharepoint Credit Union (MN):

Premium checking paying 5% up to $5,000 for one year
Esvavings (savings account) paying 3% up to $10,000 for two years

4. Altra Federal Credit Union (WI):

A+ platinum checking paying 2.5% annually up to $15,000
(This one was paying as high as 3.5% before the Fed cut rates. Might move money elsewhere)

The only other credit union I have found on depositaccounts.com is MECU (municipal employee credit union) in Baltimore, MD. They pay 2.96% up to $10,000

Would love some good leads if anyone has some!

Thanks!
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David Jay
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Re: Which credit unions offer deposit accounts paying more than 3% interest?

Post by David Jay »

It looks like your research is pretty thorough.

I would be surprised if any of these rates held if bond yields continue to stay this low.
Prediction is very difficult, especially about the future - Niels Bohr | To get the "risk premium", you really do have to take the risk - nisiprius
Ron Ronnerson
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Re: Which credit unions offer deposit accounts paying more than 3% interest?

Post by Ron Ronnerson »

I think you’ve got a good list going. I don’t know of others paying this much. Could I ask how you fulfill the debit card charge requirements?
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gwe67
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Re: Which credit unions offer deposit accounts paying more than 3% interest?

Post by gwe67 »

That's a lot of work for very little gain.
VTI 48%, VXUS 12%, BND 40%
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obafgkm
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Re: Which credit unions offer deposit accounts paying more than 3% interest?

Post by obafgkm »

Ron Ronnerson wrote: Tue Mar 16, 2021 6:38 pmCould I ask how you fulfill the debit card charge requirements?
I have an account at the above-mentioned MECU (I grew up in Baltimore and kept an account there). I load my gift card balance at Amazon 12 times, at $0.50 a time, every month. I know I’ll use the money. Indeed, I ordered something today, and used the gift card balance.
Ron Ronnerson
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Re: Which credit unions offer deposit accounts paying more than 3% interest?

Post by Ron Ronnerson »

obafgkm wrote: Tue Mar 16, 2021 7:42 pm
Ron Ronnerson wrote: Tue Mar 16, 2021 6:38 pmCould I ask how you fulfill the debit card charge requirements?
I have an account at the above-mentioned MECU (I grew up in Baltimore and kept an account there). I load my gift card balance at Amazon 12 times, at $0.50 a time, every month. I know I’ll use the money. Indeed, I ordered something today, and used the gift card balance.
Thanks. That seems simple enough. Much appreciated.
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Re: Which credit unions offer deposit accounts paying more than 3% interest?

Post by Jack FFR1846 »

Digital Credit Union (DCU) pays 6.17% on the first $1000 of your primary savings account. Zero hoops to jump through. My family of 4 has 4 of these accounts. Cha ching.
Bogle: Smart Beta is stupid
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camillus
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Re: Which credit unions offer deposit accounts paying more than 3% interest?

Post by camillus »

Arbor FCU, 3%
https://www.arborfcu.org/Bank/Solutions ... m-Checking

$500 DD
estatements
30 debit card transactions
51% US / 34% ex-US / 15% “bond”
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Bogle7
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Re: Which credit unions offer deposit accounts paying more than 3% interest?

Post by Bogle7 »

Just get over it.
I did.
Moved money to a stock index fund.
Old fart who does three index funds, baby.
Ron Ronnerson
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Re: Which credit unions offer deposit accounts paying more than 3% interest?

Post by Ron Ronnerson »

Bogle7 wrote: Tue Mar 16, 2021 8:22 pm Just get over it.
I did.
Moved money to a stock index fund.
The risk is much higher, though. Some of us are willing to work for it but want 3%+ returns with very low risk on our emergency fund and whatnot.
j9j
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Re: Which credit unions offer deposit accounts paying more than 3% interest?

Post by j9j »

Jack FFR1846 wrote: Tue Mar 16, 2021 8:03 pm Digital Credit Union (DCU) pays 6.17% on the first $1000 of your primary savings account. Zero hoops to jump through. My family of 4 has 4 of these accounts. Cha ching.
Nice find. Good for younger folks I know. Thanks
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index2max
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Re: Which credit unions offer deposit accounts paying more than 3% interest?

Post by index2max »

obafgkm wrote: Tue Mar 16, 2021 7:42 pm
Ron Ronnerson wrote: Tue Mar 16, 2021 6:38 pmCould I ask how you fulfill the debit card charge requirements?
I have an account at the above-mentioned MECU (I grew up in Baltimore and kept an account there). I load my gift card balance at Amazon 12 times, at $0.50 a time, every month. I know I’ll use the money. Indeed, I ordered something today, and used the gift card balance.
The $0.50 Amazon gift card trick works wonders just sitting at home. I was doing this for a while. To increase my after-transaction yields, I've been pumping tiny amounts of gas like Doctor of Credit recommends in his blog, but this does take about an hour of time each month. The Amazon transactions took about 20 minutes altogether.

https://www.doctorofcredit.com/bank-acc ... uirements/
David Jay wrote: Tue Mar 16, 2021 6:07 pm It looks like your research is pretty thorough.

I would be surprised if any of these rates held if bond yields continue to stay this low.
Yeah... That's what I've been wondering too.
Jack FFR1846 wrote: Tue Mar 16, 2021 8:03 pm Digital Credit Union (DCU) pays 6.17% on the first $1000 of your primary savings account. Zero hoops to jump through. My family of 4 has 4 of these accounts. Cha ching.
Hmm. Family of four taking advantage of this one, huh? That's pretty nice, even though it's capped at $1000. Think I've heard about this deal before.
camillus wrote: Tue Mar 16, 2021 8:13 pm Arbor FCU, 3%
https://www.arborfcu.org/Bank/Solutions ... m-Checking

$500 DD
estatements
30 debit card transactions
This is just the kind of account I am looking for! Do you bank with them? Can ACH transfers qualify as "direct deposits"? Doesn't look like the 30 transactions have any minimum required amounts. Is that true?

https://www.depositaccounts.com/banks/a ... html#rates

Unfortunately, I think I would need to live in Michigan to meet their field of membership requirements, but I can always call to inquire...

https://www.arborfcu.org/About/Informat ... e-a-Member
Bogle7 wrote: Tue Mar 16, 2021 8:22 pm Just get over it.
I did.
Moved money to a stock index fund.
Is that you Jerome Powell? lol

On a serious note, would you say the same thing to Warren Buffet? Why is Berkshire Hathaway hoarding so much cash instead of just buying more stonks at these current ridiculous overvalued prices?

I enjoy putting in some elbow grease and doing the opposite. If I am all invested, how will I be able to buy into my index funds at a discount when the market tanks like it did in Dec 2018 or March 2020? :D
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camillus
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Re: Which credit unions offer deposit accounts paying more than 3% interest?

Post by camillus »

I’m afraid I don’t bank with Arbor FCU or have answers to your questions. Good luck!
51% US / 34% ex-US / 15% “bond”
Topic Author
index2max
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Re: Which credit unions offer deposit accounts paying more than 3% interest?

Post by index2max »

camillus wrote: Tue Mar 16, 2021 10:00 pm I’m afraid I don’t bank with Arbor FCU or have answers to your questions. Good luck!
Regardless, that's a great lead you provided me. Thank you!

They'll probably turn me away since I don't live in the state of Michigan, but it's worth calling them to inquire about membership.
mhop
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Re: Which credit unions offer deposit accounts paying more than 3% interest?

Post by mhop »

Why credit unions? A lot of the above accounts could be replaced by HMBradley for simplicity (until they adjust their structure). $100k cap, 3%, no transactions - you qualify for the 3% by saving 80% of your deposits into the account each quarter.
marc in merrimack
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Re: Which credit unions offer deposit accounts paying more than 3% interest?

Post by marc in merrimack »

Jack FFR1846 wrote: Tue Mar 16, 2021 8:03 pm Digital Credit Union (DCU) pays 6.17% on the first $1000 of your primary savings account. Zero hoops to jump through. My family of 4 has 4 of these accounts. Cha ching.
Maybe $50 after taxes per account. After a year’s time. That’s cha ching?
surfstar
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Re: Which credit unions offer deposit accounts paying more than 3% interest?

Post by surfstar »

The debit transactions were a bridge too far for me. We have 2x DCU accounts and 10x netspend/brinks for a total of $12k at 6% and 5%. Rest is moving to Ibonds, for EF.

I have been doing some new account bonuses though - usbank is giving me $400. Capitol One too.

I applaud the effort for the 3% accounts.
mikejuss
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Re: Which credit unions offer deposit accounts paying more than 3% interest?

Post by mikejuss »

Having money scattered across multiple checking accounts seems like a giant headache. Is it really worth it for a few hundred dollars? Maybe so.
ajcp
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Re: Which credit unions offer deposit accounts paying more than 3% interest?

Post by ajcp »

marc in merrimack wrote: Tue Mar 16, 2021 10:44 pm
Jack FFR1846 wrote: Tue Mar 16, 2021 8:03 pm Digital Credit Union (DCU) pays 6.17% on the first $1000 of your primary savings account. Zero hoops to jump through. My family of 4 has 4 of these accounts. Cha ching.
Maybe $50 after taxes per account. After a year’s time. That’s cha ching?
This is what I love about bogleheads. Where else can you go from reading a post from someone who isn't sure if it's worth working hard because they're in the 37% tax bracket to reading some posts from people who are giddy to do 800 debit cards transactions a year for a buck or two per. :D
tj
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Re: Which credit unions offer deposit accounts paying more than 3% interest?

Post by tj »

Service Credit Union
$500 @ 5%
$3000 @ 3%

No debit card needed.
mikejuss
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Re: Which credit unions offer deposit accounts paying more than 3% interest?

Post by mikejuss »

ajcp wrote: Tue Mar 16, 2021 10:57 pm
marc in merrimack wrote: Tue Mar 16, 2021 10:44 pm
Jack FFR1846 wrote: Tue Mar 16, 2021 8:03 pm Digital Credit Union (DCU) pays 6.17% on the first $1000 of your primary savings account. Zero hoops to jump through. My family of 4 has 4 of these accounts. Cha ching.
Maybe $50 after taxes per account. After a year’s time. That’s cha ching?
This is what I love about bogleheads. Where else can you go from reading a post from someone who isn't sure if it's worth working hard because they're in the 37% tax bracket to reading some posts from people who are giddy to do 800 debit cards transactions a year for a buck or two per. :D
No one said that being rich and radically cheap were mutually exclusive character traits.
mikejuss
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Re: Which credit unions offer deposit accounts paying more than 3% interest?

Post by mikejuss »

tj wrote: Tue Mar 16, 2021 11:05 pm Service Credit Union
$500 @ 5%
$3000 @ 3%

No debit card needed.
That's sad, man.
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index2max
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Re: Which credit unions offer deposit accounts paying more than 3% interest?

Post by index2max »

mhop wrote: Tue Mar 16, 2021 10:37 pm Why credit unions? A lot of the above accounts could be replaced by HMBradley for simplicity (until they adjust their structure). $100k cap, 3%, no transactions - you qualify for the 3% by saving 80% of your deposits into the account each quarter.
I totally understand where you're coming from. I've seen other Bogleheads talk about this HMbradley 3% savings account offered via Hatch Bank in California. Looks pretty nice. The problem is that 20% savings rate applies to the money deposited into the account during the quarter.

So if I deposit $100k up front, then do direct deposits from paychecks of just a few bucks per month, but have a need to withdraw a huge chunk of money for a big expense, won't I get dinged the next quarter and demoted to the 1% interest rate?

I look at the HMbradley account as a less-strict version of a Jumbo CD. If you don't need to touch the $100k, it's great, but if you pull out more than what you put in, especially once you max out the balance, you're stuck in a corner unless you want to sacrifice that 3% interest rate a quarter later.

I like credit unions because they pay no corporate income taxes, which puts them at a big advantage over big banks. They can afford to offer the higher interest rates on deposits in this low-rate environment longer than similarly-sized banks. I also like the voting rights that come with being a member and part-owner of a credit union.
ajcp wrote: Tue Mar 16, 2021 10:57 pm
marc in merrimack wrote: Tue Mar 16, 2021 10:44 pm
Jack FFR1846 wrote: Tue Mar 16, 2021 8:03 pm Digital Credit Union (DCU) pays 6.17% on the first $1000 of your primary savings account. Zero hoops to jump through. My family of 4 has 4 of these accounts. Cha ching.
Maybe $50 after taxes per account. After a year’s time. That’s cha ching?
This is what I love about bogleheads. Where else can you go from reading a post from someone who isn't sure if it's worth working hard because they're in the 37% tax bracket to reading some posts from people who are giddy to do 800 debit cards transactions a year for a buck or two per. :D
The powers that be don't want small-fry like me to be responsible and actually earn anything while saving my money. This is my way of fighting the system, man.

I don't consider what I do too much work. I spend about 2-3 hours of my time per month to get the interest from the multiple accounts. I consider what I do the equivalent of a $100k jumbo CD, except I can pull my money out any time to buy into the stock market for a higher dividend yield during big townturns like Dec 2018 or March 2020.
tj
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Re: Which credit unions offer deposit accounts paying more than 3% interest?

Post by tj »

mikejuss wrote: Tue Mar 16, 2021 11:06 pm
tj wrote: Tue Mar 16, 2021 11:05 pm Service Credit Union
$500 @ 5%
$3000 @ 3%

No debit card needed.
That's sad, man.
It's $9/mo you wouldn't otherwise get. A free lunch.
mhop
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Re: Which credit unions offer deposit accounts paying more than 3% interest?

Post by mhop »

index2max wrote: Tue Mar 16, 2021 11:08 pm
mhop wrote: Tue Mar 16, 2021 10:37 pm Why credit unions? A lot of the above accounts could be replaced by HMBradley for simplicity (until they adjust their structure). $100k cap, 3%, no transactions - you qualify for the 3% by saving 80% of your deposits into the account each quarter.
I totally understand where you're coming from. I've seen other Bogleheads talk about this HMbradley 3% savings account offered via Hatch Bank in California. Looks pretty nice. The problem is that 20% savings rate applies to the money deposited into the account during the quarter.

So if I deposit $100k up front, then do direct deposits from paychecks of just a few bucks per month, but have a need to withdraw a huge chunk of money for a big expense, won't I get dinged the next quarter and demoted to the 1% interest rate?

I look at the HMbradley account as a less-strict version of a Jumbo CD. If you don't need to touch the $100k, it's great, but if you pull out more than what you put in, especially once you max out the balance, you're stuck in a corner unless you want to sacrifice that 3% interest rate a quarter later.
Couple of workarounds :

You can invite people and earn rate resets back up to 3%.
If you have a partner you can keep 2 active accounts at 3% and burn one for a quarter then move the money to the other person’s account while yours is at 1%.
mikejuss
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Re: Which credit unions offer deposit accounts paying more than 3% interest?

Post by mikejuss »

tj wrote: Tue Mar 16, 2021 11:10 pm
mikejuss wrote: Tue Mar 16, 2021 11:06 pm
tj wrote: Tue Mar 16, 2021 11:05 pm Service Credit Union
$500 @ 5%
$3000 @ 3%

No debit card needed.
That's sad, man.
It's $9/mo you wouldn't otherwise get. A free lunch.
Fair enough.
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index2max
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Re: Which credit unions offer deposit accounts paying more than 3% interest?

Post by index2max »

mhop wrote: Tue Mar 16, 2021 11:15 pm
index2max wrote: Tue Mar 16, 2021 11:08 pm
mhop wrote: Tue Mar 16, 2021 10:37 pm Why credit unions? A lot of the above accounts could be replaced by HMBradley for simplicity (until they adjust their structure). $100k cap, 3%, no transactions - you qualify for the 3% by saving 80% of your deposits into the account each quarter.
I totally understand where you're coming from. I've seen other Bogleheads talk about this HMbradley 3% savings account offered via Hatch Bank in California. Looks pretty nice. The problem is that 20% savings rate applies to the money deposited into the account during the quarter.

So if I deposit $100k up front, then do direct deposits from paychecks of just a few bucks per month, but have a need to withdraw a huge chunk of money for a big expense, won't I get dinged the next quarter and demoted to the 1% interest rate?

I look at the HMbradley account as a less-strict version of a Jumbo CD. If you don't need to touch the $100k, it's great, but if you pull out more than what you put in, especially once you max out the balance, you're stuck in a corner unless you want to sacrifice that 3% interest rate a quarter later.
Couple of workarounds :

You can invite people and earn rate resets back up to 3%.
If you have a partner you can keep 2 active accounts at 3% and burn one for a quarter then move the money to the other person’s account while yours is at 1%.
Hmm, interesting. So HMbradley doesn't limit people to "one account per household or married couple"? If so, I may consider joining them for the 3% savings account rate with another household member to shuffle money back and forth.

That being said I really do love my credit unions. I am totally a credit union groupie :mrgreen:
vbdoug
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Re: Which credit unions offer deposit accounts paying more than 3% interest?

Post by vbdoug »

I had been planning to post this work around later but the questions re HMBradley make it appropriate to do so now. I deposited 85k early this quarter. I plan to withdraw about 60k in late March and put 55k back in in early April. And do the same thing at the end of the second quarter and then repeat.
WS1
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Re: Which credit unions offer deposit accounts paying more than 3% interest?

Post by WS1 »

Signed up at Dover FCU back in 2019 when they were offering 3% on $20,000. They dropped it to 1% by the time I made it through the 3 week account opening process.

someone talk me in to getting back on the horse.
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index2max
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Re: Which credit unions offer deposit accounts paying more than 3% interest?

Post by index2max »

WS1 wrote: Tue Mar 16, 2021 11:32 pm Signed up at Dover FCU back in 2019 when they were offering 3% on $20,000. They dropped it to 1% by the time I made it through the 3 week account opening process.

someone talk me in to getting back on the horse.
Ugh I feel your pain. Altra credit union got me in the door back in 2018 with something near 3% on their "A+ checking", then they came up with "A+ platinum" where the deposit interest rate went up to 3.5%.... only to come crashing down to 2.5% today as of posting. They lowered it by 50 basis points around May 2020 to 3%, then to 2.75% a few months after. Now the 2.5%. I hate being teased like this!

Seriously though, give Evansville Teachers Credit Union or, especially, Lake Michigan credit union a try. LMCU has been holding their 3% interest for more than half a decade, even during the ZIRP years from 2009-2015. The CEO of Evansville credit union actually came over from LMCU and brought their magical approach with him :D

LMCU is a pretty big credit union, so they can probably afford to do this as well as anyone. They really put the military industrial complex credit unions to shame (here's looking at you, Navy and Penfed...)
vbdoug wrote: Tue Mar 16, 2021 11:30 pm I had been planning to post this work around later but the questions re HMBradley make it appropriate to do so now. I deposited 85k early this quarter. I plan to withdraw about 60k in late March and put 55k back in in early April. And do the same thing at the end of the second quarter and then repeat.
I originally wanted to limit this thread to credit unions, but please do post about your tricks in one of the two or three HMbradley threads here if you would, please. Always love the information exchange on Bogleheads!
tj
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Re: Which credit unions offer deposit accounts paying more than 3% interest?

Post by tj »

I have Evansville (through liberty.financial), but no way to find my account number. When I sent them a secure message asking how i can find it, they said I had to call in to obtain my account number.


I last used Consumers Credit Union, but it looks like they've added more hoops to get the highest rate:

https://www.myconsumers.org/bank/accoun ... s-checking
Topic Author
index2max
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Re: Which credit unions offer deposit accounts paying more than 3% interest?

Post by index2max »

tj wrote: Tue Mar 16, 2021 11:45 pm I have Evansville (through liberty.financial), but no way to find my account number. When I sent them a secure message asking how i can find it, they said I had to call in to obtain my account number.


I last used Consumers Credit Union, but it looks like they've added more hoops to get the highest rate:

https://www.myconsumers.org/bank/accoun ... s-checking
Last time I checked, consumers credit union (CCU) out of Illinois makes you spend a minimum amount per transaction to qualify for the high-interest checking rates. What's worse is that you have to spend far more with them than what you get in interest per month. So what this means is that you're basically working for them...

It's an opportunity cost to do this if it requires one to shift their spending from a high rewards credit card at another institution to CCU.
tj
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Re: Which credit unions offer deposit accounts paying more than 3% interest?

Post by tj »

index2max wrote: Tue Mar 16, 2021 11:54 pm
tj wrote: Tue Mar 16, 2021 11:45 pm I have Evansville (through liberty.financial), but no way to find my account number. When I sent them a secure message asking how i can find it, they said I had to call in to obtain my account number.


I last used Consumers Credit Union, but it looks like they've added more hoops to get the highest rate:

https://www.myconsumers.org/bank/accoun ... s-checking
Last time I checked, consumers credit union (CCU) out of Illinois makes you spend a minimum amount per transaction to qualify for the high-interest checking rates. What's worse is that you have to spend far more with them than what you get in interest per month. So what this means is that you're basically working for them...

It's an opportunity cost to do this if it requires one to shift their spending from a high rewards credit card at another institution to CCU.
Like I said, they've added more hoops (and also lowered the rates)
Jack FFR1846
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Re: Which credit unions offer deposit accounts paying more than 3% interest?

Post by Jack FFR1846 »

marc in merrimack wrote: Tue Mar 16, 2021 10:44 pm
Jack FFR1846 wrote: Tue Mar 16, 2021 8:03 pm Digital Credit Union (DCU) pays 6.17% on the first $1000 of your primary savings account. Zero hoops to jump through. My family of 4 has 4 of these accounts. Cha ching.
Maybe $50 after taxes per account. After a year’s time. That’s cha ching?
Total for 4 of us.....$246.80 for doing absolutely nothing (before taxes). Cha ching!

There are certainly other ways to make extra money, but low balance forgiveness takes keeping ttrack and adding 99 cents to Amazon (I do this) and tradelines sales mean adding AUs, removing AUs, keeping a balance on the card (typically $10 a month) and maintaining the tradeline site info. (I do this too)
Bogle: Smart Beta is stupid
UpperNwGuy
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Re: Which credit unions offer deposit accounts paying more than 3% interest?

Post by UpperNwGuy »

I intentionally don't play those twelve-debit-card-transactions-a-month games. One of my credit unions keeps trying to get me to play. I hate debit cards in general, and I prefer to keep my spending on credit cards that earn points or cash back. I keep low balances in my regular deposit accounts. Any money not needed for monthly expenses is either invested or moved to certificates of deposit.
Topic Author
index2max
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Re: Which credit unions offer deposit accounts paying more than 3% interest?

Post by index2max »

Jack FFR1846 wrote: Wed Mar 17, 2021 6:18 am
marc in merrimack wrote: Tue Mar 16, 2021 10:44 pm
Jack FFR1846 wrote: Tue Mar 16, 2021 8:03 pm Digital Credit Union (DCU) pays 6.17% on the first $1000 of your primary savings account. Zero hoops to jump through. My family of 4 has 4 of these accounts. Cha ching.
Maybe $50 after taxes per account. After a year’s time. That’s cha ching?
Total for 4 of us.....$246.80 for doing absolutely nothing (before taxes). Cha ching!

There are certainly other ways to make extra money, but low balance forgiveness takes keeping ttrack and adding 99 cents to Amazon (I do this) and tradelines sales mean adding AUs, removing AUs, keeping a balance on the card (typically $10 a month) and maintaining the tradeline site info. (I do this too)
It don't pay much, but it's easy work. Take what you can get, right? I love your attitude! :happy

That being said, I don't know if I'd sign up for DCU just for that particular account.
UpperNwGuy wrote: Wed Mar 17, 2021 6:27 am I intentionally don't play those twelve-debit-card-transactions-a-month games. One of my credit unions keeps trying to get me to play. I hate debit cards in general, and I prefer to keep my spending on credit cards that earn points or cash back. I keep low balances in my regular deposit accounts. Any money not needed for monthly expenses is either invested or moved to certificates of deposit.
I hear ya, but I want a decent interest rate. Plus I do micro transactions at the pump to keep my yields as high as possible, but does require a trade in my time, but I only do this once per month.
MrJedi
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Re: Which credit unions offer deposit accounts paying more than 3% interest?

Post by MrJedi »

I use LMCU and happy with them. I only use one of these accounts though and don't have a need for more than one. If I were starting over I'd probably go with the ETFCU/Liberty Financial simply for the higher balance and interest, but it's not high enough for me to move the inertia I have with LMCU already.

I like using one of these accounts as my workhorse checking account where I pay all my bills and write checks from. This lets me have an effective "slush fund" that is earning meaningful interest. In the past I was using a basic checking account and minimizing the amount that was sitting idle in it, but I find the rewards checking to be more effective since I can actually top up the account instead of minimizing it and perhaps making a mistake and overdrafting it. $15k is plenty for me to top up to for general monthly cash flow purposes. Whenever my balance creeps up past the balance that earns high interest, it starts getting swept toward investments.

One of my utility providers allows me to schedule micro transactions with them. So once a month I schedule 10 micro payments. This lets me use my cashback credit cards for my other transactions, and also I don't have to keep track of an Amazon gift card balance like many people do. I was curious once and actually timed myself. It took me about 3.5 minutes to do my 10 transactions, including the time it took to fire up the browser and login to the website. Not too bad to earn about $35 interest for the month and not have to minimize my primary checking.
Farmboyslim83
Posts: 124
Joined: Sun Oct 07, 2012 12:06 pm

Re: Which credit unions offer deposit accounts paying more than 3% interest?

Post by Farmboyslim83 »

MrJedi wrote: Wed Mar 17, 2021 7:52 am I use LMCU and happy with them. I only use one of these accounts though and don't have a need for more than one. If I were starting over I'd probably go with the ETFCU/Liberty Financial simply for the higher balance and interest, but it's not high enough for me to move the inertia I have with LMCU already.

I like using one of these accounts as my workhorse checking account where I pay all my bills and write checks from. This lets me have an effective "slush fund" that is earning meaningful interest. In the past I was using a basic checking account and minimizing the amount that was sitting idle in it, but I find the rewards checking to be more effective since I can actually top up the account instead of minimizing it and perhaps making a mistake and overdrafting it. $15k is plenty for me to top up to for general monthly cash flow purposes. Whenever my balance creeps up past the balance that earns high interest, it starts getting swept toward investments.

One of my utility providers allows me to schedule micro transactions with them. So once a month I schedule 10 micro payments. This lets me use my cashback credit cards for my other transactions, and also I don't have to keep track of an Amazon gift card balance like many people do. I was curious once and actually timed myself. It took me about 3.5 minutes to do my 10 transactions, including the time it took to fire up the browser and login to the website. Not too bad to earn about $35 interest for the month and not have to minimize my primary checking.
+1 on LMCU. 2 accounts there >5 years. 3%/month is ~$37.00. Spend down cable bill and phone bill by that much each month, since there's nill interest over 15K. Do the 10 transactions for each online every month, takes 5 minutes.
Snezz1e
Posts: 52
Joined: Wed Mar 14, 2012 11:48 am

Re: Which credit unions offer deposit accounts paying more than 3% interest?

Post by Snezz1e »

Not all credit unions but I use the following:

5 x Netspend Cards (Netspend, HEB, ACE, Western Union, MLB) with $1k each at 5%
DCU Savings $1k 6%
Blue FCU Accelerated Savings $1k 5%
Service CU Savings $500 at 5%
Service CU Holiday Savings $3k at 3%
Porte Bank $15k at 3%

That's $25.5K with $7.5k with 5%+ interest and 18k 3%. My brother does the same thing for another $25.5k. None of these accounts require debit card transactions or regular direct deposits. Porte does require an initial DD to get savings feature.

I use a joint ETFCU which pays 3.3% on 20k as my everyday bank account which requires 15 debit transactions. I'm only willing to maintain one account with debit requirements. Anything more is too much of a hassle. I maintain about 15k average in this account and sweep any excess cash into our AICPA GVUL Fixed account which pays 4% tax deferred (this option isn't available to people anymore).

T-Mobile Money was nice at $3k and 4% when it only required DD. Not worth it for me with new 10 debit requirement but you don't seem to mind it.

I am starting to explore these stablecoin savings account paying 8%+ interest but those funds aren't insured and carry some risk which may not be worth it for you.
mhop
Posts: 69
Joined: Tue Jul 23, 2013 12:41 pm

Re: Which credit unions offer deposit accounts paying more than 3% interest?

Post by mhop »

index2max wrote: Tue Mar 16, 2021 11:25 pm
mhop wrote: Tue Mar 16, 2021 11:15 pm
index2max wrote: Tue Mar 16, 2021 11:08 pm
mhop wrote: Tue Mar 16, 2021 10:37 pm Why credit unions? A lot of the above accounts could be replaced by HMBradley for simplicity (until they adjust their structure). $100k cap, 3%, no transactions - you qualify for the 3% by saving 80% of your deposits into the account each quarter.
I totally understand where you're coming from. I've seen other Bogleheads talk about this HMbradley 3% savings account offered via Hatch Bank in California. Looks pretty nice. The problem is that 20% savings rate applies to the money deposited into the account during the quarter.

So if I deposit $100k up front, then do direct deposits from paychecks of just a few bucks per month, but have a need to withdraw a huge chunk of money for a big expense, won't I get dinged the next quarter and demoted to the 1% interest rate?

I look at the HMbradley account as a less-strict version of a Jumbo CD. If you don't need to touch the $100k, it's great, but if you pull out more than what you put in, especially once you max out the balance, you're stuck in a corner unless you want to sacrifice that 3% interest rate a quarter later.
Couple of workarounds :

You can invite people and earn rate resets back up to 3%.
If you have a partner you can keep 2 active accounts at 3% and burn one for a quarter then move the money to the other person’s account while yours is at 1%.
Hmm, interesting. So HMbradley doesn't limit people to "one account per household or married couple"? If so, I may consider joining them for the 3% savings account rate with another household member to shuffle money back and forth.

That being said I really do love my credit unions. I am totally a credit union groupie :mrgreen:
Yeah I don't think HMBradley has the concept of joint accounts yet so the accounts are for individuals at the moment, you'd be forced into 2 accounts for a couple anyway. I do think that sets it up in your favor as I stated above to help preserve the 3% bonus on at least 1 of those accounts at all times. There should be a thread about beneficiaries and POD on here as well if that concerns you (but it didn't for me).
Snezz1e
Posts: 52
Joined: Wed Mar 14, 2012 11:48 am

Re: Which credit unions offer deposit accounts paying more than 3% interest?

Post by Snezz1e »

HMBradley does allow joint account now. There's an option on app/site to either add someone to your account or keep your existing account and open a separate joint account. So it looks like you can maybe do 3 accounts (2 individual and 1 joint) with a partner. So keep 2 accounts with 100k and small amount in 3rd account. If you need a significant amount for something, take money out of account and move the rest to the 3rd account and wait for the reset. Hopefully you don't have too many emergent needs in a short period of time that causes multiple accounts to lose the 3% interest.
ilisira
Posts: 89
Joined: Tue Mar 11, 2008 3:04 pm

Re: Which credit unions offer deposit accounts paying more than 3% interest?

Post by ilisira »

Freedom First FCU (https://www.freedomfirst.com/) has 5% APY for up to $10,000 savings, and the requirement is $5,000 monthly direct deposit. No debit card activity is required.
marc in merrimack
Posts: 444
Joined: Tue Feb 20, 2007 10:15 am
Location: Massachusetts

Re: Which credit unions offer deposit accounts paying more than 3% interest?

Post by marc in merrimack »

Jack FFR1846 wrote: Wed Mar 17, 2021 6:18 am
marc in merrimack wrote: Tue Mar 16, 2021 10:44 pm
Jack FFR1846 wrote: Tue Mar 16, 2021 8:03 pm Digital Credit Union (DCU) pays 6.17% on the first $1000 of your primary savings account. Zero hoops to jump through. My family of 4 has 4 of these accounts. Cha ching.
Maybe $50 after taxes per account. After a year’s time. That’s cha ching?
Total for 4 of us.....$246.80 for doing absolutely nothing (before taxes). Cha ching!

There are certainly other ways to make extra money, but low balance forgiveness takes keeping ttrack and adding 99 cents to Amazon (I do this) and tradelines sales mean adding AUs, removing AUs, keeping a balance on the card (typically $10 a month) and maintaining the tradeline site info. (I do this too)
Ok, whatever. For me, and I’d expect for most on this board, these levels of ‘extra money’ are in the noise.
MrJedi
Posts: 583
Joined: Wed May 06, 2020 11:42 am

Re: Which credit unions offer deposit accounts paying more than 3% interest?

Post by MrJedi »

marc in merrimack wrote: Wed Mar 17, 2021 3:30 pm
Jack FFR1846 wrote: Wed Mar 17, 2021 6:18 am
marc in merrimack wrote: Tue Mar 16, 2021 10:44 pm
Jack FFR1846 wrote: Tue Mar 16, 2021 8:03 pm Digital Credit Union (DCU) pays 6.17% on the first $1000 of your primary savings account. Zero hoops to jump through. My family of 4 has 4 of these accounts. Cha ching.
Maybe $50 after taxes per account. After a year’s time. That’s cha ching?
Total for 4 of us.....$246.80 for doing absolutely nothing (before taxes). Cha ching!

There are certainly other ways to make extra money, but low balance forgiveness takes keeping ttrack and adding 99 cents to Amazon (I do this) and tradelines sales mean adding AUs, removing AUs, keeping a balance on the card (typically $10 a month) and maintaining the tradeline site info. (I do this too)
Ok, whatever. For me, and I’d expect for most on this board, these levels of ‘extra money’ are in the noise.
I don't disagree with the spirit, but plenty of people on this board would fuss over 2 bps of expense ratio on an index fund. On a 1MM portfolio, 2 bps difference would be $200/year, less than the extra interest here.
nalor511
Posts: 1341
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Re: Which credit unions offer deposit accounts paying more than 3% interest?

Post by nalor511 »

MrJedi wrote: Wed Mar 17, 2021 3:40 pm
marc in merrimack wrote: Wed Mar 17, 2021 3:30 pm
Jack FFR1846 wrote: Wed Mar 17, 2021 6:18 am
marc in merrimack wrote: Tue Mar 16, 2021 10:44 pm
Jack FFR1846 wrote: Tue Mar 16, 2021 8:03 pm Digital Credit Union (DCU) pays 6.17% on the first $1000 of your primary savings account. Zero hoops to jump through. My family of 4 has 4 of these accounts. Cha ching.
Maybe $50 after taxes per account. After a year’s time. That’s cha ching?
Total for 4 of us.....$246.80 for doing absolutely nothing (before taxes). Cha ching!

There are certainly other ways to make extra money, but low balance forgiveness takes keeping ttrack and adding 99 cents to Amazon (I do this) and tradelines sales mean adding AUs, removing AUs, keeping a balance on the card (typically $10 a month) and maintaining the tradeline site info. (I do this too)
Ok, whatever. For me, and I’d expect for most on this board, these levels of ‘extra money’ are in the noise.
I don't disagree with the spirit, but plenty of people on this board would fuss over 2 bps of expense ratio on an index fund. On a 1MM portfolio, 2 bps difference would be $200/year, less than the extra interest here.
Swapping from Fund1 to Fund2 to save on ER is wayyyyyy easier than fussing with 10-20 debit card payments +1 ACH + whatever each month :) - nothing wrong with it if that's your thing, but it sure isn't mine.
Snezz1e
Posts: 52
Joined: Wed Mar 14, 2012 11:48 am

Re: Which credit unions offer deposit accounts paying more than 3% interest?

Post by Snezz1e »

ilisira wrote: Wed Mar 17, 2021 2:47 pm Freedom First FCU (https://www.freedomfirst.com/) has 5% APY for up to $10,000 savings, and the requirement is $5,000 monthly direct deposit. No debit card activity is required.
Have to live in VA area to open an account. Had me excited for a minute.
ajcp
Posts: 686
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Re: Which credit unions offer deposit accounts paying more than 3% interest?

Post by ajcp »

tj wrote: Tue Mar 16, 2021 11:05 pm Service Credit Union
$500 @ 5%
$3000 @ 3%

No debit card needed.
This got me curious and it looks like the 3k @ 3% is a holiday club account? Do you not have to do automatic deposit - you can put in or take out sums as needed?
tj
Posts: 4235
Joined: Thu Dec 24, 2009 12:10 am

Re: Which credit unions offer deposit accounts paying more than 3% interest?

Post by tj »

ajcp wrote: Wed Mar 17, 2021 5:07 pm
tj wrote: Tue Mar 16, 2021 11:05 pm Service Credit Union
$500 @ 5%
$3000 @ 3%

No debit card needed.
This got me curious and it looks like the 3k @ 3% is a holiday club account? Do you not have to do automatic deposit - you can put in or take out sums as needed?
They don't seem to have any restrictions on it.
Ron Ronnerson
Posts: 2041
Joined: Sat Oct 26, 2013 6:53 pm
Location: Bay Area

Re: Which credit unions offer deposit accounts paying more than 3% interest?

Post by Ron Ronnerson »

Jack FFR1846 wrote: Wed Mar 17, 2021 6:18 am
marc in merrimack wrote: Tue Mar 16, 2021 10:44 pm
Jack FFR1846 wrote: Tue Mar 16, 2021 8:03 pm Digital Credit Union (DCU) pays 6.17% on the first $1000 of your primary savings account. Zero hoops to jump through. My family of 4 has 4 of these accounts. Cha ching.
Maybe $50 after taxes per account. After a year’s time. That’s cha ching?
Total for 4 of us.....$246.80 for doing absolutely nothing (before taxes). Cha ching!

There are certainly other ways to make extra money, but low balance forgiveness takes keeping ttrack and adding 99 cents to Amazon (I do this) and tradelines sales mean adding AUs, removing AUs, keeping a balance on the card (typically $10 a month) and maintaining the tradeline site info. (I do this too)
I opened one of these accounts this evening. It was work, though. The online application is clunky and not intuitive. For example, I couldn't scan my driver's license but can get past that screen just fine if I click a box that says I wasn't able to scan my driver's license. There are certain fields that are populated already with the word "add" for certain products (such as credit cards or loans) and if you change it to "remove," it will take you to the credit card application. So if the screen in front you says "add" it actually means the product will not be added.

I had difficulty with the process and was being set up with a checking account and also a savings but I only wanted the savings (that's because I naively thought "remove" meant it wouldn't be added). There is a built in button within the application to go back steps but you can't go back all the way to step 1 where you pick the products you're applying for. So I abandoned the application and started the process over.

That didn't work as I got a message that I already had an application on file. When I clicked the button to complete the application, it asks for a password. I never got that far, though. There's an other option, luckily enough! You can verify your SSN and have a password emailed to you. I do this a few times but no email arrives.

I'm thinking of giving up now but I've put in 30 minutes already so gotta keep going. I call customer service. The rep I get removes the checking account I don't want and guides me through the process. I am sent a code through phone call by them so I put the rep on hold and I enter the code. I am able to finally get past the part where I was stuck.

I still have the rep on the line so she can help if there are other problems along the way. That was a good move by me, if I say so myself. It's time to fund the account. I put in a $1k deposit with a checking account I already have established. It goes through the auto-linking process. It even shows me how much money I have in the checking account I'm going to transfer money from. No dice. Link is not established and I don't know why.

I ask the rep for guidance. She says to use a debit card. I go to do that but it won't go through. Ah, I see the problem now. With debit cards, you have to change the amount to under $250 and I haven't done this. So I change it to $200. Success. Now I just need to put in the other $800.

I go to log into the account. It doesn't work! Rep says that the first time through, I would need to enter SSN as the password. It doesn't say that anywhere, though. Or maybe it does but I missed it since I'm sort of delirious at this point. I had already set up a password but I guess that doesn't matter. I set it up again.

I'm finally logged in! Now I just need to put in $800 to fully capitalize on that 6.17% rate. I go to the "transfers" tab. That allows me to transfer from my newly-established savings account with DCU to... my newly-account with DCU. Well, that's sort of useless. I ask the brilliant rep for assistance. She has been a life-saver so far. She says click on "Account Manager" Tab and then on "Account Manager Home."

I've entered the vortex into another zone within the website. Click on "Payments/Transfers" and then "Add/Manage Accounts". I am asked for a payment account. That's sort of weird since I want to do a transfer but I mumble "whatever" and plow onwards. I can bring $800 into the account and fulfill my objective but I dare not try to use the account that failed to link previously (from another credit union). So I pick my good ol' Capital One checking and am able to successfully auto-link it. $800 payment (which I guess means transfer) has been initiated.

I'm hoping that the $200 deposit from a debit card and the $800 payment (which I think is a transfer) both go through without a hitch.

It may have taken an hour, but I'll be multiple $10 bills richer at the end of the year. I miss the olden days when Ally Bank used to pay me 6% (they were called GMAC back in those days) but this is what you've got to go through to get better than a 1% return on money these days. If I'd known it would be this much work, I doubt I'd have gone through it. But then I wouldn't be able to say these words: Cha Ching!

Kudos to their customer service. She was very nice and quite competent.

I'm think tomorrow we'll open an account for my wife. Double cha ching!
Topic Author
index2max
Posts: 372
Joined: Mon Jan 21, 2019 11:01 pm

Re: Which credit unions offer deposit accounts paying more than 3% interest?

Post by index2max »

ilisira wrote: Wed Mar 17, 2021 2:47 pm Freedom First FCU (https://www.freedomfirst.com/) has 5% APY for up to $10,000 savings, and the requirement is $5,000 monthly direct deposit. No debit card activity is required.
Dang! That's a sweet deal! Unfortunately I also do not live in Virginia. Can a Boglehead here who lives in Virginia please adopt me into their household? :P

Do you bank with them? Can ACH transfers qualify as direct deposit?

This and Arbor credit union are the sorts of credit unions I'd love to join. You Bogleheads rock sharing the names of these places with us!
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