Posted by Chuck on May 21, 2017
Checking Accounts

Published on May 21st, 2017 | by Chuck


First Financial CU 5% Checking Account on up to $2,500 [Nationwide]

Offer at a glance

  • Interest Rate: 5.00% APY
  • Minimum Balance: None
  • Maximum Balance: $2,500
  • Availability: Nationwide (see below)
  • Direct deposit required: No
  • Additional requirements: 15 debit signature purchases
  • Hard/soft pull: Hard pull
  • Chex Inquiry: Yes
  • Credit card funding: Unknown
  • Monthly fees:  None 
  • Household limit: None
  • Insured: NCUA

The Offer

Direct Link to offer

  • First Financial Credit Union offers their High 5 checking account which gives 5% APY on balances up to $2,500.

To be qualify for the 5% APY rate, the following two things are necessary:

  • 15 signature debit card purchases each statement period
  • Be enrolled in e-statements

The account also offers ATM refunds, up to $10 per month. And another benefit is that you get Buzz Points for debit card purchases. I don’t know what these points are worth.


The credit union is based out of Illinois and those who live in parts of Illinois can join free. Anyone else can join by donating to SitStayRead or Resources for Community Living. As far as I can tell, even a $1 donation will make you eligible.

The Fine Print

  • Balances over $2,500 will earn just .10% APY

Our Verdict

Should be pretty easy to get this 5% account by doing fifteen small debit signature purchases each month, though this one is only on $2,500 which means it’ll max out at $125 per year. The terms state that there’ll be a Chex inquiry and it sounds like there’ll be a hard pull too (“credit score and chexsystems record are obtained during the approval process”). Hopefully, we’ll get more data points on this in the comments.

Check out our list of Best Savings Accounts to see other good high-interest account options. We’ll add this one to that post in the list of more restrictive options.

Hat tip to reader Revil

10 Responses to First Financial CU 5% Checking Account on up to $2,500 [Nationwide]

  1. Marshall says:

    Not worth the hassle apparently

  2. DirtyLilRat says:

    But only $2500? Come on…..

  3. jf says:

    Well its better than nothing. To anyone that really really wants 5%, I would try to find at least 10k….then get amex serve, set it to $0.01 a day

    • DirtyLilRat says:

      What do you mean? Amex serve is paying 5%?

      • jf says:

        No, I mean amex serve is a nice lazy feature to have, if the only requirement is 10 or 15 debit transactions to trigger the high yield, then you use it instead of paying comcast or amazon etc

  4. Jake says:

    I think the most attractive options for high apy accounts would be in the following order:

    1.) Insight (5k @ 5%)

    2.) NetSpend, WU, Ace Elite, Brinks, HEB (1k each @ 5%)

    3.)North Pointe (10k @ 5% + 15 purchases)

    There are more options but they get pretty bad pretty fast. With this setup you will need $20,000 and you will net $1,000 a year in interest.

  5. Matt says:

    Im getting a 404 Error when I go to apply. was anyone actually able to apply? I just wanted to see if there was credit card funding lol.

  6. MG says:

    Walked into a branch today, they said non-locals can donate minimum $25 to plus $5 minimum to a savings account. They pull TransUnion and ChexSystems. I think it is really only worth it if you’ve already maxed out other 5% options.

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