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CUs’ Strong Deposit Rates Shine Nationally
Friday, December 4, 2015 6:50 AM

In a nationwide study of the best deposit rates, GOBankingRates found credit unions were at the top from coast to coast, including the top 10 overall. The personal finance site looked at interest rate data from more than 4,000 financial institutions to determine the best rate in each state. Credit unions posted the highest deposit rates in 37 states, with as much as 10 percent annual percentage yield (APY).

"Credit unions and local banks really offer the best of both worlds to their customers," said Elyssa Kirkham, GOBankingRates’ lead reporter. "These accounts often have low fees, or no fees, while delivering some of today's best returns on deposits."

Overall, the highest rates were found with high-interest checking accounts, rather than savings accounts or certificates of deposit. Many accounts have conditions such as minimum number of transactions or balance level.

For instance, the top rate—10 percent APY at Bridge CU, Columbus—is offered on the credit union’s dividends checking account and applies to the first $1,500 of the balance. Savers need to make 35 or more debit card purchases monthly; enroll in e-statements; use bill pay once every 60 days; and receive direct deposits totaling $1,000 or more each month.

In Alabama, Montgomery’s Guardian CU offers 5.1 percent APY on its Young & Free checking account for young adults ages 18-25. Those who enroll in the Round-Up Savings program, in which the credit union automatically rounds each debit purchase up to the nearest dollar and deposits the "change" into a connected savings account, can earn a 50 percent match on those deposits in the first 30 days and 5 percent every month after that.

In two states—Colorado and Indiana—credit unions tied for best rates. Colorado’s highest deposit rate of 3 percent APY on checking products was found at Partner Colorado CU, Arvada, and Rocky Mountain Law Enforcement FCU, Denver. Centra CU, Columbus, and Elements Financial FCU, Indianapolis, both offer Indiana’s highest rate of 4 percent.