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Consumers Credit Union Review: Checking, Savings, CD, Money Market and IRA Accounts

Editorial Note: The content of this article is based on the author’s opinions and recommendations alone. It has not been previewed, commissioned or otherwise endorsed by any of our network partners.

Consumers Credit Union’s checking account options

Free Checking account

Consumers Credit Union’s Free Checking account offers a standard range of basic checking services in a free wrapper, but it doesn’t pay any interest.
  • Minimum opening deposit: $0
  • Monthly account maintenance fee: $0
  • ATM fee: $0, but $1 for every ATM withdrawal exceeding six per month
  • ATM fee refund: None
  • Overdraft fee: $30, or $10 if signed up for automatic transfer of funds to cover overdrafts

The Free Checking account is a straightforward option for banking clients who need basic checking account access, but don’t want to pay any fees. Although the account doesn’t earn any interest, it has no minimum balance requirements and provides a number of free features and benefits, including the following:

  • Online and mobile banking access
  • Unlimited check writing
  • Online bill pay
  • Mobile pay via a linked debit card using Google Pay, Apple Pay or Samsung Pay
  • Mobile remote deposit of checks via smartphone

The Free Checking account carries a steep overdraft fee, but that can be reduced by signing up for transfers from a backup funding account. ATM access is available via debit card, and withdrawals up to six times per month are free of charge.

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Student Choice Checking

This account is designed for younger customers from 13 to 17 years old. Accounts must be opened jointly with a parent or guardian who is legally responsible for all account activity.
  • Minimum opening deposit: $0
  • Monthly account maintenance fee: $0; $10 if maintained after age 19 and not converted to a Rewards Checking account
  • ATM fee: $0, but $1 for every ATM withdrawal exceeding six per month
  • ATM fee refund: Up to $25 per month
  • Overdraft fee: No overdrafts allowed

Consumers Credit Union’s Student Choice checking account is a starter account for minors, who must open the account with a designated adult.

Daily debit card withdrawals are limited to $310. No checks are included and no overdrafts are allowed. However, the account does provide a generous up to $25 maximum ATM fee monthly rebate for non-network ATMs, and it allows minors to apply for a Visa credit card through the account.

Other benefits include free electronic statements and online banking. As with the Free Checking account, however, no interest is paid on the Student Choice checking account.

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Free Rewards Checking

The Consumers Free Rewards checking account pays high rates of interest on smaller balances, but it has a complicated, multi-tier structure.
Tier A
APYMinimum Balance to Earn APY
5.09%
$0
0.20%
$20,000.01
0.10%
$25,000.01
Tier B
APYMinimum Balance to Earn APY
4.09%
$0
0.20%
$15,000.01
0.10%
$25,000.01
Tier C
APYMinimum Balance to Earn APY
3.09%
$0
0.20%
$10,000.01
0.10%
$25,000.01
  • Minimum opening deposit: $0
  • Monthly account maintenance fee: $0
  • ATM fee: $0, if basic service requirements met
  • ATM fee refund: Unlimited, if basic service requirements met
  • Overdraft fee: $30, or $10 if signed up for automatic transfer of funds to cover overdrafts

Free Rewards account holders can earn high rates of interest but must clear certain hurdles earn the best rates. To qualify for Tier C, customers must ensure that each month, the following occurs:

  • Complete at least 12 debit/check card point-of-sale purchases of any amount (must be made without the use of a PIN code and must clear and post as a credit transaction by the end of the month)
  • Receive one direct deposit, pay one bill using the credit union’s online bill pay service, or make one ACH debit
  • Access online banking at least once
  • Receive bank correspondence (such as statements and notices) via the eDocuments service

Tier B customers must complete all of the above every month, and also spend $500 or more in Consumers Credit Union Visa credit card purchase transactions. Customers who spend $1,000 or more monthly on their Consumers Credit Union Visa credit card are bumped up to Tier A.

On top of the enhanced interest payments, the Free Rewards checking account offers the following additional benefits:

  • Reimbursement for any and all ATM fees, if Tier C or higher requirements are met
  • Online banking and bill pay
  • Mobile banking
  • No minimum balance requirement
  • No monthly maintenance fees
  • Unlimited check writing

If Tier C or higher requirements are not met, customers lose the fee reimbursement provision and are only paid interest at a 0.01% APY. To help customers keep on track, the credit union offers a service that shows activity such as monthly debit transactions and Visa spending.

How to open Consumers Credit Union’s checking accounts

As noted earlier, Consumers Credit Union has an online application for its flagship Free Rewards Checking account. Customers looking to open a Free Checking or Student Choice account can visit a branch or call the customer service line at (877) 275-2228.

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How Consumers Credit Union’s checking accounts compare

Consumers Credit Union offers a no-frills Free Checking account, but since the enhanced Free Rewards Checking account has no monthly maintenance fee, it would generally be the better choice. This is particularly true for account holders who can meet the credit union’s activity requirements — these actions make the interest rate rise dramatically.

The best rates that the credit union offers not only smash the national average rate, they easily top the best national checking rates offered by competitors. The primary downside is that the rates paid are limited to deposits of no more than $20,000.

Consumers Credit Union’s savings account options

Membership Share Savings account

The Membership Share Savings account is Consumers Credit Union’s traditional savings account.
APYMinimum Balance to Earn APY
0.05%
$5
  • Minimum opening deposit: $5
  • Monthly account maintenance fee: $0
  • ATM fee: $0, but $1 for every ATM withdrawal exceeding six per month
  • ATM fee refund: None
  • Overdraft fee: $30, or $10 if signed up for automatic transfer of funds to cover overdrafts

A $5 deposit into a new Consumers Credit Union Membership Share Savings account is mandatory for any customers who want to be members of the credit union.

As required by Federal Reserve Regulation D, you are limited to up to six certain transactions each month from Consumers Credit Union’s Membership Share Savings or money market account. The credit union will assess a $5 fee for each additional transaction. Your account may also be closed, at the discretion of the institution.

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Christmas Savings account

The Christmas Savings account has limited access until the holiday period every year, but it does pay interest.
APYMinimum Balance to Earn APY
0%
$5
  • Minimum opening deposit: $5
  • Monthly account maintenance fee: $0
  • ATM fee: n/a
  • ATM fee refund: n/a
  • Overdraft fee: n/a

The Christmas Savings account pays a higher interest rate than the credit union’s Membership Share Savings account, but funds must remain on deposit in the account from Nov. 1 through Oct. 31 of the following year, at which point money is automatically transferred into the account holder’s Membership Share Savings account.

The account requires a new $5 minimum deposit every year and automatically renews.

How to open Consumers Credit Union’s savings accounts

The credit union has a single online application for its accounts. Customers looking to open a Membership Share Savings or Christmas Savings account can also visit a branch or call the customer service line at (877) 275-2228

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How Consumers Credit Union’s savings accounts compare

Consumers Credit Union’s savings accounts pay low interest rates. The primary savings account doesn’t even match the national average savings account rate, and it falls far below the highest online savings rates available, The Christmas Savings account has a better-than-average rate, but it too is no comparison to the best available at other institutions. The accounts do come free of any monthly maintenance fees, but they don’t provide any exceptional services or payouts.

Consumers Credit Union’s CD rates

Regular CDs

TermAPYMinimum Balance to Earn APY
91 days0.50%
$250
6 months1.00%
$250
1 year1.50%
$250
15 months*2.75%
$250
18 months1.75%
$250
2 years2.00%
$250
30 months2.10%
$250
3 years2.15%
$250
45 months*3.25%
$250
4 years2.20%
$250
5 years2.50%
$250
* indicates a promotional rate
  • Minimum opening deposit: $250
  • Minimum balance amount to earn APY: $250
  • Early withdrawal penalty: for terms of one year or less, 60 days’ dividends; for terms of longer than one year, 120 days’ dividends

Consumers Credit Union’s CDs range in maturity from 91 days to 5 years, with rates guaranteed for the duration of the term. After a minimum deposit of $250, dividends are compounded daily and posted monthly. Promotional rates are offered in the 15 month and 45 month maturities. Withdrawing funds before CDs mature will trigger an early withdrawal penalty of between 60 and 120 days’ worth of dividends.

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Jumbo CDs

Consumers Credit Union’s Jumbo CDs match the maturity schedule as the credit union’s regular CDs, but rates may vary.
TermAPYMinimum Balance to Earn APY
91 days0.50%
$100,000
6 months1.00%
$100,000
1 year1.60%
$100,000
15 months*2.85%
$100,000
18 months1.85%
$100,000
2 years2.10%
$100,000
30 months2.20%
$100,000
3 years2.25%
$100,000
45 months*3.35%
$100,000
4 years2.30%
$100,000
5 years2.60%
$100,000
*indicates a promotional rate
  • Minimum opening deposit: $100,000
  • Minimum balance amount to earn APY: $100,000
  • Early withdrawal penalty: for terms of one year or less, 60 days’ dividends; for terms of longer than one year, 120 days’ dividends

Customers with $100,000 or more to invest have access to the credit union’s jumbo certificate rates, which are higher for some maturities than the credit union’s regular certificate accounts. Promotional rates are offered for the same 15 and 45 month maturities as Consumers Credit Union’s regular CDs. Dividends are credited daily and posted monthly, with rates guaranteed for the life of the CD.

How to get Consumers Credit Union’s certificate rates

Consumers Credit Union has one online application for all account types, including regular and jumbo CDs.

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How Consumers Credit Union’s CD rates compare

Although Consumers Credit Union offers additional interest on some CD maturities for jumbo deposits, the bump in rates isn’t particularly noteworthy. The best rates in Consumers Credit Union’s CDs are available on the two promotional maturities of 15 and 45 months, on both the regular and jumbo CDs. Overall, rates at Consumers Credit Union are far above the national average CD rates, and while these rates don’t approach the best CD rates available nationally, they are respectable. Early withdrawal penalties are fairly standard.

Consumers Credit Union’s money market account option

Money Market account

This account is Consumers Credit Union’s version of a traditional money market account, with larger balances earning higher interest rates.
APYMinimum Balance to Earn APY
0.15%
$2,000
0.15%
$20,000
0.25%
$40,000
0.50%
$70,000
1.00%
$100,000
  • Minimum opening deposit: $0
  • Minimum balance to earn APY: $2,000+ (see above table)
  • Monthly account maintenance fee: $0
  • ATM fee: n/a
  • ATM fee refund: n/a
  • Overdraft fee: $30, or $10 if signed up for automatic transfer of funds to cover overdrafts

Consumers Credit Union’s Money Market account pays a higher rate than the credit union’s savings account, but offers more access than its CDs. Rates are tiered, with the highest APY paid for balances of $100,000 or more.

Federal Reserve Regulation D requires that an account classified as a “savings deposit” must not permit more than six transfers or withdrawals per month. In the case of Consumers Credit Union, account holders will be assessed a fee of $5 per instance each time they exceed that limit — in some cases, the credit union may close the account in response to excess withdrawals. The account has no ATM access.

How to get Consumers Credit Union’s money market account

As noted earlier, Consumers Credit Union has one online application for all account types, including the money market account.

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How Consumers Credit Union’s money market account compares

Consumers Credit Union’s sole money market account is just about average when it comes to interest rates. Deposits below $20,000 earn less than the national average for money market accounts, while deposits of $100,000 or more earn about double the national average. Rates for all tiers fall well short of the highest available money market rates at other banks. On the plus side, the account carries no monthly maintenance fee.

Consumers Credit Union’s IRA rates

IRA CDs

Consumers Credit Union pays the same rates on its IRA CDs as it does on its non-IRA accounts. Jumbo certificates are available in the credit union’s IRAs as well.

Regular IRA CDs

TermAPYMinimum Balance to Earn APY
91 days0.50%
$250
6 months1.00%
$250
1 year1.50%
$250
15 months*2.75%
$250
18 months1.75%
$250
2 years2.00%
$250
30 months2.10%
$250
3 years2.15%
$250
45 months*3.25%
$250
4 years2.20%
$250
5 years2.50%
$250
*indicates promotional rates
  • Minimum opening deposit: $250
  • Minimum balance amount to earn APY: $250
  • Early withdrawal penalty: For terms of one year or less, 60 days’ dividends; for terms of longer than one year, 120 days’ dividends

Consumers Credit Union’s IRA CDs follow the same format as the credit union’s non-IRA CDs. Minimum deposits are $250, and rates vary over the 91 day to 5 year maturity schedule. Higher rates are paid for the promotional maturities of 15 and 45 months. Early withdrawal penalties apply, at a cost of either 60 days’ or 120 days’ worth of dividends.

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Jumbo IRA CDs

TermAPYMinimum Balance to Earn APY
91 days0.50%
$100,000
6 months1.00%
$100,000
1 year1.60%
$100,000
15 months*2.85%
$100,000
18 months1.85%
$100,000
2 years2.10%
$100,000
30 months2.20%
$100,000
3 years2.25%
$100,000
45 months*3.35%
$100,000
4 years2.30%
$100,000
5 years2.60%
$100,000
*indicates promotional maturities
  • Minimum opening deposit: $100,000
  • Minimum balance amount to earn APY: $100,000
  • Early withdrawal penalty: For terms of one year or less, 60 days’ dividends; for terms of longer than one year, 120 days’ dividends

For IRA customers with at least $100,000 to invest, jumbo CDs are available in Consumers Credit Union’s IRA products. Rates are higher for some maturities than the credit union’s regular IRA CDs. Promotional rates are available for maturities of 15 and 45 months. Dividends are credited daily and posted monthly.

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IRA Money Market account

Rates for the Consumers Credit Union IRA Money Market account are the same as the credit union’s regular money market account.
APYMinimum Balance to Earn APY
0.15%
$2,000
0.15%
$20,000
0.25%
$40,000
0.50%
$70,000
1.00%
$100,000
  • Minimum opening deposit: $0
  • Minimum balance to earn APY: $2,000+ (see table above)
  • Monthly account maintenance fee: $0
  • ATM fee: $0
  • ATM fee refund: n/a
  • Overdraft fee: $30, or $10 if signed up for automatic transfer of funds to cover overdrafts from IRA Savings account

Consumers Credit Union’s IRA Money Market account has the same interest rates as its non-IRA money market account. It pays more than the credit union’s IRA savings account, but for the most part, rates are lower than its IRA CD rates. Tiered rates pay the highest APY on balances of $100,000 or more. There is no ATM access with this account.

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IRA Savings

The IRA Savings account pays the same interest rate on all balances above the minimum.
APYMinimum Balance to Earn APY
0.25%
$10
  • Minimum opening deposit: $10
  • Minimum balance to earn APY: $10
  • Monthly account maintenance fee: $0
  • ATM fee: n/a
  • ATM fee refund: n/a
  • Overdraft fee: $30, or $10 if signed up for automatic transfer of funds to cover overdrafts from IRA Money Market

The IRA Savings account at Consumers Credit Union is an interest-bearing account for cash that is not invested elsewhere, such as in the credit union’s CDs. The same rate is paid for every deposit above the account minimum of $10. There are no monthly fees with this savings account.

How to get Consumers Credit Union’s IRA rates

Consumers Credit Union requires applicants for IRA products to call (877) 275-2228 or visit a branch. No online application is available for an IRA product at the credit union.

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How Consumers Credit Union’s IRA rates compare

Rates for the money market and CD accounts in the credit union’s IRAs are the same as in the credit union’s non-IRA accounts. For the latter, this means that, overall, they are far above the national average CD rates, but well below the best IRA CD rates available nationally. Jumbo CD deposits earn slightly higher rates, but the promotional terms of 15 and 45 months are where investors will find the best rates at Consumers Credit Union. Rates are the same regardless of the size of deposit, with the exception of some jumbo maturities.

The credit union’s IRA savings account pays a modest amount of interest, above the national average savings rate.

Overall review of Consumers Credit Union’s banking products

Consumers Credit Union offers a mixed bag of banking options for customers. The clear highlight of the credit union’s entire roster is its Rewards Checking account, which pays an outstanding rate for balances of up to $20,000. However, the multi-tier structure of the account can be confusing, and it can take some doing to earn the best rate. For determined savers, however, it can be hard to find a better rate at any institution across the country.

The credit union also does well with its promotional CD rates, although they only come in two maturities. Other CD rates are respectable, but not noteworthy.

Beyond that, Consumers Credit Union’s other offerings are lackluster, with the savings accounts paying below-market rates and the money market account not leaping to new heights either.

Overall, Consumers Credit Union offers a wide range of products with low or no fees, which can be appealing to many consumers. With the exception of the exceptional flagship checking rate, however, better options can likely be found at other institutions.

Advertiser Disclosure: The products that appear on this site may be from companies from which MagnifyMoney receives compensation. This compensation may impact how and where products appear on this site (including, for example, the order in which they appear). MagnifyMoney does not include all financial institutions or all products offered available in the marketplace.

John Csiszar
John Csiszar |

John Csiszar is a writer at MagnifyMoney. You can email John here

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Reviews

Review of Green Dot Unlimited Cash Back Bank Account

Editorial Note: The content of this article is based on the author’s opinions and recommendations alone. It has not been previewed, commissioned or otherwise endorsed by any of our network partners.

Get rewarded for your spending with the Green Dot Unlimited Cash Back Bank Account. The account earns unlimited 3% cash back earned from online or in-app purchases, but unlike most cashback programs, this one prevents you from enjoying your earned rewards immediately. The catch: You can only access and redeem your cashback rewards if your account is in good standing a year after registration. In addition, there is a $7.95 monthly fee, although it’s simple to get around the fee.

While you wait for your account registration anniversary, you can use this account’s other features to your advantage. For one, Green Dot Bank can get you your paycheck up to two days in advance through direct deposit. You can also use the 3%* APY Green Dot Bank High-Yield Savings Account to stash and grow your money.

Green Dot doesn’t have any branch locations of its own, so it relies heavily on its app and participating stores to offer its services to customers. This makes it slightly tricky for users who need quick and easy ATM access.

Read on to learn more about the FDIC-insured Green Dot Unlimited Cash Back Bank Account and its rewards requirements, fees and fine print.

How does the Green Dot Unlimited Cash Back Bank Account work?

 

The Green Dot Unlimited Cash Back Bank Account’s biggest draw is the unlimited 3% cash back earned from online or in-app purchases. There’s no limit to how much cash back you can earn, so long as you’re using your card for online and in-app purchases (there’s more on how Green Dot identifies those purchases in a section below)

Getting access to your cash back is a little trickier, however. While you’ll see the cash back earned on each purchase reflected almost immediately, you’ll have to wait for each anniversary of your account registration to redeem the funds. On each anniversary date, you can transfer your cash back rewards into your Unlimited Cash Back Bank Account. Your registration date is the date you actually register your card no matter where you got it, either at a store or online.

On your registration anniversary, your account must be in good standing. This means it must have a positive balance and cannot be blocked or flagged for any reason. If you have a negative balance, you must bring it to a positive balance before you can redeem your rewards.

Depositing cash into your Unlimited Cash Back Bank Account is also a little unorthodox, as Green Dot doesn’t have any of its own branches or ATMs. To deposit cash, you need to visit a Green Dot participating retailer, including CVS pharmacies and Walmart stores. Cash deposits are free when you initiate the deposit on the Green Dot app and complete them at a retail store. You can also initiate a cash deposit by swiping your Green Dot debit card at a participating retailer, who may charge a cash deposit fee of their own.

As for withdrawals, you can locate free ATMs through the bank’s app. Otherwise, you’ll face an out-of-network ATM fee, in addition to a potential ATM owner surcharge.

Unlimited Cash Back Bank Account features

  • Earns unlimited 3% cash back on eligible online or in-app purchases
  • Get your paycheck up to two days earlier with ASAP Direct Deposit™
  • Links to 3%* APY Green Dot Bank High-Yield Savings Account
  • No overdraft fees

Along with its competitive cash back rate, another big perk of banking with Green Dot Bank is that you can get your direct deposit paychecks up to two days in advance. Typically, employers deposit paychecks into employees’ banks two days before actual payday. So instead of letting your paycheck sit in the Automated Clearing House (ACH) limbo, where payments like these are processed, Green Dot deposits your paycheck on the same day the bank receives it. Exact timing and availability of your direct deposit will depend on when your employer submits your payment information and deposit verification.

Also included with the Green Dot app is the Green Dot Bank High-Yield Savings Account. There is no fee, and the account earns 3%* APY on balances up to $10,000. Once you’ve redeemed your cash back rewards and deposited them into your Unlimited Cash Back Bank Account, you can then transfer those funds into your High-Yield Savings Account for better savings.

As you’ll read below, the Unlimited Cash Back Bank Account is rife with fees, depending on how you use your account and manage your money. But a certain perk of the account is its lack of overdraft fees. So when you make a purchase that your balance cannot cover, Green Dot will decline the transaction, but they won’t charge a fee like most other banks do.

Unlimited Cash Back Bank Account fees and fine print

Unlimited Cash Back fees
Unlimited Bank Account purchase — online $0
Unlimited Bank Account purchase — in store$1.95 or less
Monthly fee$7.95, waived when you spend $1,000 or more in the previous monthly period
Deposit cash with Green Dot app & participating locations$0
Direct deposit$0
Out-of-network ATM withdrawal$3 per transaction
Teller cash withdrawal$3 per transaction
Out-of-network ATM balance inquiry$0.50
Foreign transactions3% of total transaction amount
Paper checks (pack of 12 checks)$5.95

There are quite a few fees to keep an eye out for when you have a Green Dot Unlimited Cash Back Bank Account. For starters, note that there is a fee when you open the account in a store. You can easily avoid this fee by opening the account online instead.

The account charges a $7.95 monthly fee. This can be waived when you spend at least $1,000 in the previous monthly period. This excludes transactions like ACH payments or prepaid card purchases. This may be easier if you do much of your shopping online, since you’re more likely to reach the minimum balance. If you’re betting the cash back you earn will offset this monthly fee, you’d have to spend $3,180 in a year to earn enough to pay off a year’s worth of the monthly fee. Plus, you’d have to wait for each anniversary to take advantage of that cash back bonus.

It also helps to keep your account activity online. You can initiate the deposit through the Green Dot app then depositing cash at a participating retailer at no charge. However, if you want to deposit cash without the app by swiping the debit card at a participating retailer, then the retailer may charge a service fee for cash deposits. Note that direct deposits are free.

As for the fine print, there is some room for error when it comes to determining which purchases are eligible for the 3% cashback. Green Dot identifies online and in-app purchases through unique merchant category codes (MCC) and “other identifying information,” according to the Green Dot website.

However, Green Dot acknowledges that sometimes online or in-app merchants use an MCC that does not properly identify themselves as online or in-app. On Green Dot’s part, the bank states that it “does not determine which MCC a merchant chooses to classify itself as and has no way of changing a merchant’s identifying information.” So if merchant misidentification is the case, your purchase won’t register as online or in-app and won’t earn 3% cash back.

Cash back also does not apply to airline tickets or to products and services that are redeemable for cash, such as gift cards, online funding of accounts, credit card cash advances, P2P funding, prepaid cards, money orders and traveler’s checks.

Opening an Unlimited Cash Back Bank Account

You can open an Unlimited Cash Back Bank Account either online or in-store at Green Dot participating retailers. When you open an account online, you’ll need to provide your full name, address, email address, phone number, Social Security number and date of birth. If you open an account in store, you’ll need to register your new debit card online or through the Green Dot app. There, you’ll need to provide your personal information.

Who is the Green Dot Unlimited Cash Back Bank Account best for?

The Green Dot Unlimited Cash Back Bank Account seems to be a better option for those who aren’t chasing a quick reward. Green Dot requires you to wait a year after account registration to redeem your cash back rewards, which may not be much of a reward for some. It’s more of an added perk than a real primetime feature since you have to wait so long.

The Unlimited Cash Back Bank Account may also be better for those who are tech savvy enough to manage their accounts largely online and in the app. Accounts are more easily opened and registered online and even cash deposits work best when done through the app.

That said, this account could be a potential hassle who want the ease and speed of ATM access. Green Dot requires you to visit a participating store to deposit cash, whether you use the app or not. For many, navigating a physical store just isn’t as convenient. When it comes to withdrawals, it may be difficult to find a free ATM nearby in order to avoid the out-of-network ATM fee.

In all, the Green Dot Unlimited Cash Back Bank Account seems to hold a lot of promise. But there’s a few hoops to jump through to earn rewards and use the account efficiently that detract from the eye-catching 3% cash back.

*Rate accurate as of August 21, 2019

Advertiser Disclosure: The products that appear on this site may be from companies from which MagnifyMoney receives compensation. This compensation may impact how and where products appear on this site (including, for example, the order in which they appear). MagnifyMoney does not include all financial institutions or all products offered available in the marketplace.

Lauren Perez
Lauren Perez |

Lauren Perez is a writer at MagnifyMoney. You can email Lauren here

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Reviews

Fitness Bank Savings Review

Editorial Note: The content of this article is based on the author’s opinions and recommendations alone. It has not been previewed, commissioned or otherwise endorsed by any of our network partners.

Fitness Bank’s savings account option

Fitness Savings Account

This unconventional savings product offers customers the chance to earn an outstanding APY when they are physically active. The daily average number of steps you took in the previous month determines the APY you earn on your account balance. The table below outlines the five earning tiers that this bank currently offers:
APY Tiers*Minimum Balance to Earn APYSteps Required
0.50%$1000-4,999
1.25%$1005,000-7,499
1.75%$1007,500-9,999
2.50%$10010,000-12,499
3.00%$10012,500+

If you are a US citizen age 65 or older, you qualify for a different rate schedule:

APY Tiers*Minimum Balance to Earn APYSteps Required
1.25%$1000-4,999
1.75%$1005,000-7,499
2.50%$1007,500-9,999
3.00%$10010,000+
  • Minimum opening deposit: $100
  • Minimum daily balance to earn APY: $100
  • Monthly account maintenance fee: $10, waived by maintaining the minimum daily balance.
  • ATM fee: N/A
  • ATM fee refund: N/A
  • Overdraft fee: $40

These rates truly are outstanding if you live an active lifestyle. The first month, everyone gets highest APY regardless of number of steps they take. After that, your APY will be assigned based on your daily average number of steps over the course of the prior month. Needless to say, if you don’t live a very active lifestyle, or if you have a health condition that would prevent you from meeting the step requirements, this may not be the best account for you.

This bank charges a $10 monthly maintenance fee if you don’t maintain a minimum average daily balance of $100. If you’re not confident you can maintain this minimum, you may want to look at a checking account rather than a savings account — keep in mind, however, that Fitness Bank only offers a savings account. If you meet the minimum balance requirement, the monthly maintenance fee will be waived.

This savings account does not come with an ATM card or checks. You are limited to six certain withdrawals and/or transactions per month, per Regulation D, which is enforced by the federal government, although banks do have some flexibility in allowing more than six per month in certain cases. At Fitness Bank, if you make more than six withdrawals per month you will be charged a $10 fee for each additional withdrawal.

If you want to go above and beyond achieving the highest APY available from this account, you can join one of Fitness Bank’s challenges. Every month, there is a step challenge where you can compete with all other participating Fitness Bank members to get the highest number of average daily steps. Top competitors will be awarded with prizes at the end of the month. You can also set up challenges just for your family or friend group, or for a group of employees participating in a workplace challenge.

How to get Fitness Bank’s savings account

Opening a savings account at Fitness Bank is a straightforward process. The bank boasts account setup will take you less than two minutes.

You’ll fill out a quick online application, supplying basic information like your name, address and Social Security number, along with documentation of your driver’s license or passport. Then you’ll need to provide funding information, namely your bank account number, credit card or debit card.

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How Fitness Bank’s savings account compares

This bank offers phenomenal rates. At the time of writing, they offer the highest savings account rate in the market — if you can rack up the steps needed to earn it. In addition, you will have to be comfortable doing your banking 100% online with this savings account. You will not receive a checkbook or ATM card – all of your withdrawals and deposits will be completed via electronic transfer. If you’d prefer ATM access or the ability to visit a physical branch, Fitness Bank is not the right match for you.

The minimum deposit required to open and maintain an account without incurring a monthly maintenance fee isn’t outrageous. But you can find savings accounts offering somewhat competitive rates without these requirements. And to repeat, you’ll have to meet the step requirements; if that challenge goes unfulfilled, the advantages of saving with Fitness Bank wane. Its rates get progressively less competitive the fewer steps you take.

Overall review of Fitness Bank’s banking products

This bank offers a unique financial product aimed at promoting wellness. Its minimum balance and deposit requirements are fairly average for the industry, as are its fees. While its offerings are fair and get more generous as you take more steps, you will likely find better rates elsewhere if you cannot realistically meet these specific fitness standards. If you can, though, you’re in for some of the best rates on the market.

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Brynne Conroy
Brynne Conroy |

Brynne Conroy is a writer at MagnifyMoney. You can email Brynne here