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This New Checking Account Pays an Amazing 7.23%—No Debit Purchases Needed


Key Takeaways

Superior Choice Credit Union has launched a new high-yield checking account that pays a remarkable rate of 7.23% APY.
High-yield checking accounts generally require you to jump through some monthly hoops—such as making 10-15 debit card transactions—in order to earn the high APY that month.
In contrast, Superior Choice’s account doesn’t require any debit card transactions. Instead, you must keep a minimum balance of $5,000 to earn interest, and then meet one additional requirement.
The easiest requirement for newcomers to the credit union is to make a monthly direct deposit of $500 or more.
Although Superior Choice directly serves select counties in Wisconsin and Minnesota, any consumer nationwide can join the credit union with a $15 membership to the nonprofit American Consumer Council.

This has been a truly historic year for anyone with cash in the bank. Dozens of high-yield savings accounts have been paying well over 5% since the spring, and the best-paying CDs in the country have so far reached a record peak of 6.50%. But today brings an offer that beats even those stellar returns. And surprise—it’s a checking account.

Superior Choice Credit Union, based in Superior, Wisconsin, has unveiled a new high-yield checking account. Called Superior Checking, it’s paying an eye-popping 7.23% APY. Like all checking accounts that offer an exceptionally high return, Superior Checking has some rules you must follow in order to earn the 7.23% rate. But the requirements here are much easier for many consumers to meet.

Superior Choice Credit Union currently lists the APY on this account incorrectly on its website. The actual rate paid on a Superior Checking account when the requirements are met is 7.00% APR, which equates to 7.23% APY. Investopedia confirmed this with the credit union, and they reported they would be correcting the website soon.

The most common requirement for high-yield checking accounts—sometimes referred to as rewards checking accounts—is making a certain number of debit card transactions in a month. Usually, the required number is between 10 and 15 per statement cycle.

But Superior Choice’s account has different rules:

1. Keep an average daily balance of $5,000. You have to maintain this balance for the full month in order to earn any interest. There are no fees, so you’re not dinged if you fall below that amount. But it means you won’t earn 7.23% APY for that statement cycle.

You also can only earn the high rate on balances up to $25,000. Average daily balances higher than that earn smaller APYs, ranging from 2.00% to 0.10% APY.

2. Have a direct deposit, loan, or business relationship with the credit union. You need to meet just one of the following requirements:

Have an active loan with Superior ChoiceHave a business relationship with Superior ChoiceReceive at least $500 in a monthly direct deposit

For anyone receiving a regular paycheck, pension check, or Social Security check, the third requirement is probably the easiest. You don’t even have to direct deposit your entire paycheck, if you don’t want to, as long as your employer allows splitting your direct deposit to be sent to more than one institution (many do).

3. Choose e-statements. The only other requirement to earn 7.23% APY on this account is that you opt into electronic statements.

If you prefer a high-yield checking account that requires debit card transactions instead of a direct deposit, you have other options. Our ranking of top nationwide choices includes several paying between 4.00% and 6.05% APY.

Anyone who lives or works in one of 15 specified counties in Wisconsin or three in Minnesota (listed below) is immediately eligible to join the credit union. But the door is also open to anyone nationwide. All you have to do is join the American Consumer Council, a consumer advocacy nonprofit, for a $15 lifetime membership fee. (Being an ACC member is a common avenue for credit union membership, so it may also help you join a different credit union in the future.)

Superior Choice is federally insured by the National Credit Union Administration (NCUA), meaning your deposits up to $250,000 are protected just the same as at an FDIC bank.

Superior Choice’s website currently lists 14 Wisconsin counties as eligible, but the customer application indicates a 15th county—Polk—is also eligible. This has been confirmed with the credit union. The full list of eligible Wisconsin counties is therefore Ashland, Barron, Bayfield, Burnett, Clark, Chippewa, Douglas, Dunn, Eau Claire, Iron, Polk, Rusk, Sawyer, Taylor, and Washburn. And the eligible Minnesota counties are Carlton, Itasca, and St. Louis.

Granted, there is no guarantee how long Superior Choice will keep offering this rate. Just like a savings or money market account, the rate is variable and can be lowered at any time without warning. It’s also possible the credit union could stop offering the account to new customers.

But with such simple account requirements, and the ability to earn almost 2 percentage points more than the best high-yield savings account, it’s a great return to snag while you can.

Rate Collection Methodology Disclosure

Every business day, Investopedia tracks the rate data of more than 200 banks and credit unions that offer CDs and savings accounts to customers nationwide and determines daily rankings of the top-paying accounts. To qualify for our lists, the institution must be federally insured (FDIC for banks, NCUA for credit unions), and the account’s minimum initial deposit must not exceed $25,000.

Banks must be available in at least 40 states. And while some credit unions require you to donate to a specific charity or association to become a member if you don’t meet other eligibility criteria (e.g., you don’t live in a certain area or work in a certain kind of job), we exclude credit unions whose donation requirement is $40 or more. For more about how we choose the best rates, read our full methodology.

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