High-Yield Checking Alive and Well

But these accounts pay less than they used to.

June 10, 2013
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The high-yield checking account isn’t a thing of the past, according to a survey by Bankrate.com. But even these accounts are paying less than they used to.

Bankrate.com examined 56 high-yield checking accounts at credit unions, banks, and thrifts in 2012 and found the average annual percentage yield (APY) to be 1.64%

This is lower, however, than the average 2.05% in 2011 and 3.3% in 2010.

All of the high-yield checking accounts Bankrate.com surveyed mandate electronic statements, and nearly all require 10 or more debit card transactions each month. Most also require direct deposit and/or automated bill payments.

Consumers who fail to meet the monthly requirements earn 0.07%, on average.

These accounts also come with balance caps on which higher yields are paid. The average balance cap in 2012 was $17,102, down from $19,118 in 2011 and $25,482 in 2010. ), but the highest-yielding accounts tend to have lower balance caps. None of the 14 highest-yielding accounts are available nationwide with a balance cap above $15,000.

Among credit unions offering high-yield checking accounts:

CU APY Monthly debit Balance
    transactions cap
Advantage Plus FCU, Pocatello, Idaho 1.25% 12 $15,000
Connexus CU, Wausau, Wis. 1.75 15   25,000
Consumers CU, Waukegan, Ill. 3.09 12     5,000

First New England FCU, East Hartford, Conn.

1.25 12   15,000
First Tech FCU, Beaverton, Ore. 1.25 12    10,000
Lake Michigan CU, Grand Rapids 3.00 10    14,999

MidWest America FCU, Fort Wayne, Ind.

1.66 10    15,000
Provident CU, Redwood City, Calif. 1.76 10 $25,000

Click here to view the full survey.