Join Early Retirement Today
Reply
 
Thread Tools Search this Thread Display Modes
PenFed Access America interest bearing checking
Old 03-27-2016, 01:53 PM   #1
Thinks s/he gets paid by the post
RunningBum's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jun 2007
Posts: 4,391
PenFed Access America interest bearing checking

I know there are other PenFed customers here. Recently I saw something about "Access America" checking which pays 0.20% interest up to $20K and 0.50% interest up to $50K. This is better than their regular or MM savings rates, so if you keep a lot of money there you may want to upgrade. I searched and didn't see anyone else post about this yet.

Upgrading from existing checking is easy. Go to the "products and rates" tab, then Checking (or just click on https://online1.penfed.org/PenFedOnl.../Checking.aspx ) and click on Open. It will recognize if you already have checking and ask if you want you to upgrade. Click yes, and that's it. No new cards or account number.

I think you need to keep the balance above $500 to avoid fees. Not sure if that's different from before. Check for yourself to make sure.
__________________

__________________
RunningBum is online now   Reply With Quote
Join the #1 Early Retirement and Financial Independence Forum Today - It's Totally Free!

Are you planning to be financially independent as early as possible so you can live life on your own terms? Discuss successful investing strategies, asset allocation models, tax strategies and other related topics in our online forum community. Our members range from young folks just starting their journey to financial independence, military retirees and even multimillionaires. No matter where you fit in you'll find that Early-Retirement.org is a great community to join. Best of all it's totally FREE!

You are currently viewing our boards as a guest so you have limited access to our community. Please take the time to register and you will gain a lot of great new features including; the ability to participate in discussions, network with our members, see fewer ads, upload photographs, create a retirement blog, send private messages and so much, much more!

Old 03-27-2016, 02:13 PM   #2
Give me a museum and I'll fill it. (Picasso)
Give me a forum ...
braumeister's Avatar
 
Join Date: Feb 2010
Location: Northern Kentucky
Posts: 7,799
Did you notice that a minimum balance of $5K is needed in order to earn even the 0.2% interest rate?

That's quite a bit more than I routinely keep in a checking account.
__________________

__________________
braumeister is online now   Reply With Quote
Old 03-27-2016, 02:28 PM   #3
Give me a museum and I'll fill it. (Picasso)
Give me a forum ...
audreyh1's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jan 2006
Location: Rio Grande Valley
Posts: 15,114
There is a HUGE caveat!!!!

Quote:
Earn dividends with direct deposits of $1,000 or more and a daily balance of up to $50,000 per statement cycle.
You must have a monthly direct deposit like a paycheck or social security or pension to get any interest paid.

No monthly direct deposit, no interest.

Transfers don't count.

I don't have anything coming in that would do such a deposit, so no interest for me, even though I switched a couple of month ago. I really did not see the second like qualifying the interest.

They sure fooled me! https://www.penfed.org/Access-America-Checking/

I called wondering where my interest payments were - and they pointed out the direct deposit requirements.
__________________
Well, I thought I was retired. But it seems that now I'm working as a travel agent instead!
audreyh1 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 03-27-2016, 02:29 PM   #4
Thinks s/he gets paid by the post
RunningBum's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jun 2007
Posts: 4,391
I'm not seeing that. Under "Rates", it shows a table of 0.2% for 0-$19,999. Where is the $5K minimum listed?

I'm not used to keeping too much in a checking account either, but when checking pays more interest than savings, my checking account also becomes my savings account. It also pays more than the Vanguard sweep account.
__________________
RunningBum is online now   Reply With Quote
Old 03-27-2016, 02:31 PM   #5
Give me a museum and I'll fill it. (Picasso)
Give me a forum ...
audreyh1's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jan 2006
Location: Rio Grande Valley
Posts: 15,114
You're not going to get any interest paid if you don't have a $1000+ monthly direct deposit (not transfers).
__________________
Well, I thought I was retired. But it seems that now I'm working as a travel agent instead!
audreyh1 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 03-27-2016, 02:40 PM   #6
Thinks s/he gets paid by the post
RunningBum's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jun 2007
Posts: 4,391
Quote:
Originally Posted by audreyh1 View Post
You're not going to get any interest paid if you don't have a $1000+ monthly direct deposit (not transfers).
OK, though I'm still not seeing anything that clearly says that. They sure weren't very open about it. I wonder if it has changed? I guess I'll see.

Is it worse in any way than the old Open Access account I had before?
__________________
RunningBum is online now   Reply With Quote
Old 03-27-2016, 02:42 PM   #7
Thinks s/he gets paid by the post
RunningBum's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jun 2007
Posts: 4,391
OK, I see it now, actually pretty clearly. Not sure how I missed it.

"Earn dividends with direct deposits of $1,000 or more and a daily balance of up to $50,000 per statement cycle.1 "
__________________
RunningBum is online now   Reply With Quote
Old 03-27-2016, 02:47 PM   #8
Give me a museum and I'll fill it. (Picasso)
Give me a forum ...
audreyh1's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jan 2006
Location: Rio Grande Valley
Posts: 15,114
Quote:
Originally Posted by RunningBum View Post
OK, I see it now, actually pretty clearly. Not sure how I missed it.

"Earn dividends with direct deposits of $1,000 or more and a daily balance of up to $50,000 per statement cycle.1 "
It certainly wasn't clear to me at first and had to be pointed out before I understood. It's presented more as an additional thing rather than a requirement. I didn't understand what they meant at first.

No - without deposits it's not any different from the old checking. If I'd understood their language I wouldn't have bothered "upgrading".
__________________
Well, I thought I was retired. But it seems that now I'm working as a travel agent instead!
audreyh1 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 03-27-2016, 02:51 PM   #9
Give me a museum and I'll fill it. (Picasso)
Give me a forum ...
braumeister's Avatar
 
Join Date: Feb 2010
Location: Northern Kentucky
Posts: 7,799
Quote:
Originally Posted by RunningBum View Post
I'm not seeing that. Under "Rates", it shows a table of 0.2% for 0-$19,999. Where is the $5K minimum listed?
I found this on the CU Today website:
Quote:
Access America has three dividend tier levels. On balances to $5,000, no dividends are paid; on balances between $5,000-$19,999, a dividend of .25% is paid, and on balances of $20,000-$50,000, a dividend of .50% is paid. Those rates are variable and the latter two tiers also require a direct deposit of $1,000 or more.
That was enough to stop me from looking any further.
__________________
braumeister is online now   Reply With Quote
Old 03-27-2016, 02:52 PM   #10
Give me a museum and I'll fill it. (Picasso)
Give me a forum ...
Gone4Good's Avatar
 
Join Date: Sep 2005
Posts: 5,383
Why not just keep money in an Ally (or similar) on-line savings account paying 1% and transfer money as needed?
__________________
Retired early, traveling perpetually.
Gone4Good is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 03-27-2016, 02:54 PM   #11
Give me a museum and I'll fill it. (Picasso)
Give me a forum ...
braumeister's Avatar
 
Join Date: Feb 2010
Location: Northern Kentucky
Posts: 7,799
Quote:
Originally Posted by Gone4Good View Post
Why not just keep money in an Ally (or similar) on-line savings account paying 1% and transfer money as needed?
That's what I've been doing for years. I get 1.01% from Discover Bank and they have always been perfect about transfers in and out.
__________________
braumeister is online now   Reply With Quote
Old 03-27-2016, 02:54 PM   #12
Give me a museum and I'll fill it. (Picasso)
Give me a forum ...
audreyh1's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jan 2006
Location: Rio Grande Valley
Posts: 15,114
Quote:
Originally Posted by Gone4Good View Post
Why not just keep money in an Ally (or similar) on-line savings account paying 1% and transfer money as needed?
That's what I do.
__________________
Well, I thought I was retired. But it seems that now I'm working as a travel agent instead!
audreyh1 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 03-27-2016, 03:00 PM   #13
Thinks s/he gets paid by the post
RunningBum's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jun 2007
Posts: 4,391
Quote:
Originally Posted by Gone4Good View Post
Why not just keep money in an Ally (or similar) on-line savings account paying 1% and transfer money as needed?
Yeah, that's probably the way to go. Sorry for the false hope, folks. Thanks for keeping me honest.
__________________
RunningBum is online now   Reply With Quote
Old 03-27-2016, 03:03 PM   #14
Give me a museum and I'll fill it. (Picasso)
Give me a forum ...
braumeister's Avatar
 
Join Date: Feb 2010
Location: Northern Kentucky
Posts: 7,799
Quote:
Originally Posted by RunningBum View Post
Thanks for keeping me honest.
Not so fast, Buster.

You have to write "I will read the fine print before posting" 50 times on the blackboard.
__________________
braumeister is online now   Reply With Quote
Old 03-27-2016, 03:19 PM   #15
Give me a museum and I'll fill it. (Picasso)
Give me a forum ...
audreyh1's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jan 2006
Location: Rio Grande Valley
Posts: 15,114
Quote:
Originally Posted by RunningBum View Post
Yeah, that's probably the way to go. Sorry for the false hope, folks. Thanks for keeping me honest.
Hey - I just didn't want you to go down the disappointing path I did!

Sometimes the fine print isn't that understandable.
__________________
Well, I thought I was retired. But it seems that now I'm working as a travel agent instead!
audreyh1 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 10-04-2016, 08:20 AM   #16
Give me a museum and I'll fill it. (Picasso)
Give me a forum ...
audreyh1's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jan 2006
Location: Rio Grande Valley
Posts: 15,114
Hmmm - I got some interest (dividend) paid on my PenFed Access America Checking account this month, and the only difference is that I made a $1000 transfer into it from another bank in the same statement cycle.

So maybe their direct deposit rule is not what I was told and transfers from another bank account do qualify.

Also, my balance is under $3000, so it doesn't seem to meet the tier requirements.

I just had the extra cash transferred recently because this is a backup account in case I had problems with my two primary checking accounts during my overseas trip. (Belts, belts, suspenders and suspenders.)

Further investigation it looks like it's in the ballpark according to the following rates show on my statement:

Quote:
8/1/16-9/11/16 APY: Daily bal < $20K: 0.50%; Daily bal > $20K, up to $50K, 1.01% 9/12-30/16 APY: Daily bal < $20K: 0.20%; Daily bal > $20K, up to $50K, 0.50%
I earned $0.83. My daily balance was around $2,436 as my deposit and one billpay happened to occur on the 1st day of the statement cycle. Then they had an interesting rate reduction on 9/12/16 - I didn't realize they had gone to those higher rates for a while, because I just remembered the 0.2% and 0.5% rates at the beginning of the year.**

They say the following for the Access America Checking on their data sheet:

Quote:
*Earn dividends with direct deposits of $1,000 or more AND an average daily balance between $5,000 and $50,000 per statement cycle.
By the $5000 minimum wasn't there when I converted, and is clearly not included in my rate statement above, so perhaps I am grandfathered in no minimum required?

So confusing!!!

** Looks like in May 2016 they increased the rates to 0.5% for balances <$20K and 1.01% for balances >$20K up to $50K. Then dropped back to original on 9/12/16.

Moral of the story - it looks like transfers qualify for direct deposits. I don't know how they would tell the difference anyway, nor why I was told otherwise. Annoying!!!

Am I willing to set up monthly $1000 transfers from other accounts for 0.2% or 0.5% rates? - No, as my other accounts are already paying higher. And that extra cash I transferred in last month is about to be swept back out.
__________________

__________________
Well, I thought I was retired. But it seems that now I'm working as a travel agent instead!
audreyh1 is offline   Reply With Quote
Reply


Currently Active Users Viewing This Thread: 1 (0 members and 1 guests)
 
Thread Tools Search this Thread
Search this Thread:

Advanced Search
Display Modes

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are Off
Pingbacks are Off
Refbacks are Off


Similar Threads
Thread Thread Starter Forum Replies Last Post
PenFed CD Interest Reporting freedomatlast FIRE and Money 9 04-17-2015 07:35 AM
Should I Use PenFed Credit Union Checking or Another Credit Union? nico08 FIRE and Money 10 02-28-2014 10:19 AM
From totally free checking to totally fleece checking easysurfer FIRE and Money 47 06-30-2012 01:23 AM
Checking accounts with good interest rates? summer2007 FIRE and Money 16 09-09-2007 06:06 AM
Interest on Checking Accounts? Patrick FIRE and Money 27 10-18-2006 04:22 AM

 

 
All times are GMT -6. The time now is 12:41 PM.
 
Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.8 Beta 1
Copyright ©2000 - 2017, vBulletin Solutions, Inc.