Lake Michigan Credit Union Review: Checking, Savings, CD, Money Market and IRAs

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Updated on Wednesday, July 1, 2020

Lake Michigan Credit Union checking account options

Max Checking

Earn one of the highest rates around with this account.
APYMinimum Balance to Earn APY
3.00%$0.01 - $15,000
  • Minimum opening deposit: None
  • Monthly account maintenance fee: None
  • ATM fee: None for in-network and Allpoint ATMs; $1 for out-of-network ATMs
  • ATM fee refund: Up to $15 per month
  • Overdraft fee: $30 each

This checking account has one of the best rates we’ve seen and is good for those who want a checking account with a top APY. The rate doesn’t encourage you to keep a large amount of cash as you don’t earn any interest once your account reaches $15,000.

With this account, you get free online banking, a debit card and bill pay if you authorize at least one monthly direct deposit. You also get ATM fee refunds and there are no fees to keep the account.

SEE DETAILS Secured

on Lake Michigan Credit Union’s secure website

NCUA Insured

Free Checking

A no-frills account that doesn’t earn you any interest.
  • Minimum opening deposit: None
  • Monthly account maintenance fee: None
  • ATM fee: $0 for in-network and Allpoint ATMs; $1 for out-of network ATMs
  • ATM fee refund: None
  • Overdraft fee: $30 each

This is a pretty basic checking account that doesn’t offer anything unique. Account holders get a debit card, online banking and a starter pack of checks for free. If you’re looking to maximize your money, you’re probably better off going with the Max Checking account, which offers more with the exception of the free checks.

SEE DETAILS Secured

on Lake Michigan Credit Union’s secure website

Investor Checking

The checking account is a good place to park your money between investments.
APYMinimum Balance to Earn APY
0.25%$2,500
0.25%$5,000
0.35%$25,000
  • Minimum opening deposit: $5
  • Monthly account maintenance fee: $10 (this can be waived)
  • ATM fee: $0 for in-network and Allpoint ATMs; $1 for out-of network ATMs
  • ATM fee refund: None
  • Overdraft fee: $30 each

The credit union suggests this checking account to help you earn some interest while you’re in-between investment opportunities. In other words, this account is best for those who want to earn some interest while having the liquidity to pull funds out whenever they choose.

You can waive the monthly maintenance fee if you keep a daily minimum balance of $2,500. You also get free mobile and online banking.

SEE DETAILS Secured

on Lake Michigan Credit Union’s secure website

NCUA Insured

Advantage 50 Checking

This account gives some advantages to age, but not on its earnings.
APYMinimum Balance to Earn APY
0.25%None
  • Minimum opening deposit: None
  • Monthly account maintenance fee:: None
  • ATM fee: $0 for in-network and Allpoint ATMs, $1 for out-of network ATMs
  • ATM fee refund: None
  • Overdraft fee: $30 each

This is another free checking account but it’s meant for those ages 50 and older. You get free online banking, a debit card and two boxes of checks every year. Another perk is that you continue to earn interest no matter what amount you have in the account, and there are no minimum balances to maintain.

Otherwise, there isn’t much going on with this account. If you’re after higher rates and don’t care about the free checks, the credit union has other accounts with higher APYs and no fees.

SEE DETAILS Secured

on Lake Michigan Credit Union’s secure website

NCUA Insured

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How Lake Michigan Credit Union’s checking accounts compare

Among Lake Michigan Credit Union’s checking accounts, the Max Checking account offers one of the highest rates we’ve seen when comparing it with our list of the 10 best online checking accounts. While there are no monthly fees, there are also no out-of-network ATM fee reimbursements, which are offered without limits by other banks.

As for the credit union’s other checking accounts, their rates fall short. Those accounts aren’t anything special, other than the fact that you get some free checks. In short, the Max Checking account is a great choice but you’ll probably want to pass on the others.

Lake Michigan Credit Union savings account options

Member Savings

All members need to open this account to qualify for membership.
APYMinimum Balance to Earn APY
0.25% $100
  • Minimum opening deposit: $5
  • Minimum balance to earn APY: $100
  • Monthly account maintenance fee: $5 (can be waived)
  • ATM fee: N/A
  • ATM fee refund: N/A
  • Overdraft fee: N/A

Opening this savings account is required to establish membership. As long as you maintain a $300 minimum balance, you can avoid the $5 monthly maintenance fee. The only way to access your cash is by ACH or wire transfer.

One unique aspect of this account is that you can make sub-accounts to direct your money toward various savings goals, such as holidays, vacations and education. Keep in mind that Federal Reserve Regulation D limits you to six certain withdrawals/transfers a month, and there is a $5 excessive withdrawal fee.

SEE DETAILS Secured

on Lake Michigan Credit Union’s secure website

NCUA Insured

Max Savings

This account’s decent APY requires a high minimum balance.
APYMinimum Balance to Earn APY
0.25%$100
1.00%$100,000
  • Minimum opening deposit: None
  • Minimum balance to earn APY: $100
  • Monthly account maintenance fee: None
  • ATM fee: N/A
  • ATM fee refund: N/A
  • Overdraft fee: N/A

This account is best for those looking to maximize their savings, although you can only earn a decent rate if you have at least $100,000 deposited. The advantage is that there is no minimum balance since there isn’t a monthly maintenance fee. There isn’t ATM access to the account, but you can link it to your checking account to access your money.

Keep in mind that Federal Reserve Regulation D limits you to six certain withdrawals/transfers a month for savings accounts. Top that number and you’ll be charged $5 for each excessive related transaction you make.

SEE DETAILS Secured

on Lake Michigan Credit Union’s secure website

NCUA Insured

Holiday Club

It’s not a great rate, but the account does encourage you to save.
APYMinimum Balance to Earn APY
0.25%None
  • Minimum opening deposit: None
  • Minimum balance to earn APY: None
  • Monthly account maintenance fee: None
  • ATM fee: N/A
  • ATM fee refund: N/A
  • Overdraft fee: N/A

This account is meant for those who want to stash away funds for a special purpose. It’s designed to discourage you from withdrawing from your savings. You can make withdrawals beforehand, but it’ll cost you $3 per withdrawal.

You can deposit as much as you want at any time, but the money will only be available — transferred to your checking or savings account — on Sept. 30 each year. Otherwise, there’s not much going for this account. If you want a higher APY, you may be better off putting your money in a CD.

SEE DETAILS Secured

on Lake Michigan Credit Union’s secure website

NCUA Insured

Kids and Teen Club

Help your child learn to save and earn a good APY with this account.
APYMinimum Balance to Earn APY
1.00%$1
0.25%$1,001
  • Minimum opening deposit: $5
  • Minimum balance amount to earn APY: $1
  • Monthly account maintenance fee: None
  • ATM fee: N/A
  • ATM fee refund: N/A
  • Overdraft fee: N/A

This account is best for those who want to help their child or teen establish a savings account with a decent rate. Parents or guardians don’t need to be members, as membership to the credit union can be established under the youth’s name. The only way to access funds is in person or via bank transfer.

Because this is a savings account, your child is limited to six certain withdrawals/transfers a month — per Federal Reserve Regulation D limits — or else your child will be charged a $5 fee for each excess withdrawal/transfer.

How to get the Kids and Teen Club account

You can only open an account in person. Your child can establish membership just by opening this account and will need to bring along their Social Security card. Click here to find a location closest to you.

SEE DETAILS Secured

on Lake Michigan Credit Union’s secure website

NCUA Insured

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How Lake Michigan Credit Union’s savings accounts compare

Unfortunately, Lake Michigan Credit Union’s savings accounts fall short of other online competitors. While some of their rates are comparable, here you need to have a high minimum deposit amount in order to qualify for the best rates. Other places don’t have minimum balance requirements to qualify for their top rates and some even have ATM access.

You will need to open a Members Savings account to establish eligibility, but you’re better off going elsewhere if you want higher rates. Feel free to check out our list of the best online savings accounts to shop around.

Lake Michigan Credit Union CD rates

lakeCertificates of Deposit

Earn an even higher APY with VIP rates.
Current specials
TermAPYVIP bonus APY
8 months1.77%2.02%
14 months0.90%2.25%
25 months2.35%2.60%
Regular rates
TermAPYVIP bonus APY
3 months0.50%0.75%
5 months0.50%0.75%
6 months0.05%0.30%
7 months0.50%0.75%
9 months0.05%0.30%
10 months0.50%0.75%
11 months0.50%0.75%
12 months0.05%0.30%
13 months0.65%1.15%
15 months0.65%1.15%
17 months0.70%0.95%
18 months0.70%0.95%
24 months0.95%1.20%
30 months0.90%1.15%
36 months1.00%1.25%
48 months1.15%1.40%
60 months1.40%1.65%
  • Minimum opening deposit: $500
  • Minimum balance amount to earn APY: $500
  • Early withdrawal penalty: Depends on length of term:
    • Less than 12 months — 90 days’ interest
    • 12 months or longer — 180 days’ interest

These fixed-rate CDs that are best for those looking for a guaranteed rate of return in an investment account. Interest is compounded and credited monthly to the account.

To qualify for the 0.25% MORE VIP rate bonus, you’ll need to earn enough rewards points to qualify. Members are automatically enrolled in this program once they establish membership. You earn points for each product or service you have with the credit union.

When your account matures, you’ll have a 10-day grace period in which you can make additional deposits or withdrawals, or renew for another term. Otherwise, your account will automatically be renewed.

SEE DETAILS Secured

on Lake Michigan Credit Union’s secure website

NCUA Insured

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How Lake Michigan Credit Union’s CD rates compare

The special rates are on par with what’s being offered out there. There aren’t as many options as the ones for regular rates, but they’re still a great choice. The regular rates they offer fall short of the ones on our list of the current best CD rates.

All this to say, depending on the term and whether you can qualify for the VIP bonus rate, these CDs are a good choice.

Lake Michigan Credit Union money market account option

Money Market account

You can get limited check-writing capabilities with this account.
APYMinimum Balance to Earn APY
0.25%$2,500
0.30%$10,000
0.35%$25,000
0.40%$50,000
0.50%$100,000
0.50%$250,000
  • Minimum opening deposit: $5
  • Minimum balance to earn APY: $2,500
  • Monthly account maintenance fee: None
  • ATM fee: N/A
  • ATM fee refund: N/A
  • Overdraft fee: N/A

This money market account doesn’t have any monthly fees and is best for those looking for a savings account that offers check writing, though it is limited. You can access your cash via online banking. However, you do need to keep a minimum amount to earn the advertised APY, so if that’s a concern you can consider linking a savings account with a higher APY with a checking account to get check-writing capabilities.

Since this is considered a savings account, Federal Reserve Regulation D limits account holders to six certain withdrawals/transfers a month. The credit union will charge you $5 for each excessive related transaction you make.

SEE DETAILS Secured

on Lake Michigan Credit Union’s secure website

NCUA Insured

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How Lake Michigan Credit Union’s money market account compares

The credit union’s money market rates fall way short compared with what’s being offered out there. Sure, you get limited check-writing capabilities, but so do some of the other banks on our list of the best money market accounts. In other words, you’re better off looking elsewhere.

Lake Michigan Credit Union IRA options

IRA CD rates

There’s nothing special on these rates that are on par with what’s being offered elsewhere.

IRA CD

Current specials
TermAPYVIP bonus APY
8 months1.77%2.02%
14 months2.00%2.25%
25 months2.35%2.60%
Regular rates
TermAPYVIP bonus APY
3 months0.75%1.00%
5 months0.75%1.00%
6 months0.05%0.30%
7 months0.75%1.00%
9 months0.05%0.30%
10 months0.75%1.00%
11 months0.75%1.00%
12 months0.05%0%
13 months0.90%1.15%
15 months0.90%1.15%
17 months0.90%1.15%
18 months0.25%0.50%
24 months0.75%1.20%
30 months1.00%1.25%
36 months1.05%1.30%
48 months1.15%1.40%
60 months1.80%2.05%
  • Minimum opening deposit: $500
  • Minimum balance amount to earn APY: $500
  • Early withdrawal penalty: Depends on length of term:
    • Less than 12 months — 90 days interest
    • 12 months or longer — 180 days interest

This CD is best for those looking for a tax-sheltered or tax-free retirement account that offers a guaranteed rate of return. Any interest you earn is compounded and deposited into your account monthly.

The MORE VIP rate listed in the table above is for members who have earned enough rewards points to qualify. This program is for all members of the credit union and you’re automatically enrolled once you become a member. With each account you open or service you use, you get to earn points. You can log into your account at any time to see what your points can get you.

There is a 10-day grace period once your account matures in which you can make withdrawals, additional deposits or renew for another term. If nothing is done, your account will automatically be renewed.

How to get Lake Michigan Credit Union’s IRA CDs

To open an IRA CD, you’ll need to visit a branch. Contact the IRA department at 1-800-242-9790 ext. 6335 for more information.

SEE DETAILS Secured

on Lake Michigan Credit Union’s secure website

NCUA Insured

IRA Money Market Savings account

Earn a decent rate across all tiers.
APYVIP bonus APYMinimum Balance to Earn APY
0.80%0.80% None
  • Minimum opening deposit: None
  • Minimum balance to earn APY: None
  • Monthly account maintenance fee: None
  • ATM fee: N/A
  • ATM fee refund: N/A
  • Overdraft fee: N/A

This is pretty much a no-frills IRA money market account that offers the ability to earn interest with any amount you deposit. Since this is a retirement account, you are limited to how much can you contribute per year as regulated by the IRS. And, you’re also limited to six certain withdrawals a month as mandated by Federal Reserve Regulation D. If you make excessive withdrawals you’ll be charged $5 for each one and potentially any tax penalties if you take money out before you’re 59½.

How to get Lake Michigan Credit Union’s IRA Money Market Savings account

You’ll need to go in person to open an IRA money market account. Contact the IRA department at 1-800-242-9790 ext. 6335 for more information.

SEE DETAILS Secured

on Lake Michigan Credit Union’s secure website

NCUA Insured

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How Lake Michigan Credit Union’s IRA rates compare

Some of the rates — in particular, their current specials — are on par with some of the best rates out there, especially if you can qualify for the VIP rates. Otherwise, the other terms are pretty lackluster and it’s probably a better idea to check out our list of the best IRA CD rates and see what’s out there.

Overall review of Lake Michigan Credit Union’s banking products

Where Lake Michigan Credit Union shines the most is with its Max Checking account. It’s got one of the highest APYs we’ve seen and it also offers some ATM refunds. Its CD rates are also pretty good if you take advantage of their current specials.

However, the rest of the products in this review fall short when compared with rivals out there. If you want a great checking or CD account, there are some decent choices at Lake Michigan Credit Union. If not, then doing some comparison shopping is the way to go.

Opening most of the accounts is easily done online by filling out an application. First, you need to qualify for membership by donating $5 to the Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis (ALS) Association and opening a members savings account. The form will ask for information such as your address, Social Security number and reason for joining. Then, you can fund both the member savings and investor checking accounts at the same time.

The exceptions — as noted above — are the IRAs and the Kids and Teen Club savings accounts, which require in-person opening.

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