bank rates

National Rewards Checking Deal: 2.02%

Red pen on top of check and check registerSavers in all 50 states can open a rewards checking account with ABCO Federal Credit Union, based in Rancocas, N.J., and earn twice the rate offered by the best nationally available savings account.

The Premiere Checking Account pays 2.02% APY on balances to $25,000.

That balance cap is higher than we’ve seen at many places that offer reward checking accounts. A number of institutions cap their top rewards at deposits of $10,000 or less.

At ABCO, any portion of your balance greater than $25,000 earns 0.20% APY.

There’s no minimum deposit required to open the checking account or earn interest, and the account has no fees.

You’ll earn the best rate if you have one direct deposit or automatic debit each month, make 10 debit card purchases, sign up for eStatements and conduct one online transaction, which can include transferring money, making an online bill payment or requesting a check withdrawal.

If you meet those requirements, you’ll also get $10 in ATM fees refunded. But you might not need the refund, because ATM use is free at all CO-OP Network and Allpoint Network machines.

Those networks include about 70,000 ATMs located at major retailers like 7-Eleven, Target and Walgreens.

If you don’t fulfill the requirements, you’ll only earn 0.05% APY on your account for the month.

You can join ABCO if you live in certain New Jersey municipalities or work for a long list of companies.

If you aren’t eligible through your city of residence or employer, you can join by becoming a member of the American Consumer Council, a nonprofit organization focused on consumer education. And it won’t even cost you anything to join the council if you plan to become a credit union member.

Before you can open a Premiere Checking Account, you’ll need to open a share savings account, which requires a $10 application fee and a minimum deposit of $10. The account pays 0.05% APY.

There’s no mechanism to open an account online, so you’ll need to stop by one of ABCO’s nine New Jersey branches or mail in your membership application.

For more information, visit www.goabco.org or call 800-225-1859.

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