Posted by William Charles on December 2, 2016
Checking Accounts

Published on December 2nd, 2016 | by William Charles


[MN only] St Paul Federal Credit Union 4.99% On Balances Up To $20,000

Offer at a glance

  • Interest Rate: Up to 4.99%
  • Minimum Balance: None
  • Maximum Balance: $20,000
  • Availability: Must live, attend school, worship or work in Minneapolis, MN or St. Paul, MN (or being a relative or family member of somebody who is already a St Paul’s member)
  • Direct deposit required: Yes, no minimum mentioned
  • Additional requirements: See below
  • Hard/soft pull: Hard pull
  • Credit card funding: Up to $1,000 for both checking & savings. Mastercard or Visa
  • Monthly fees: None
  • Insured: NCUA
  • Expiration date: None listed

The Offer

Direct link to offer

  • Receive a high interest rate on balances up to $20,000 with St Paul’s Federal Credit Union when you sign up for eStatements and login to eBanking monthly. The rate you receive and the maximum balance will be dependent on how many debit card transactions you make monthly:
    • Earn 2.99% APR on balances up to $10,000 when you use your debit card to make at least 20 purchases per month.
    • Earn 3.99% APR on balances up to $15,000 when you use your debit card to make at least 40 purchases per month.
    • Earn 4.99% APR on balances up to $20,000 when you use your debit card to make at least 60 purchases per month.


The Fine Print

  • Bonus Rate of up to 4.99% APR will be paid on balances up to $20,000 as long as cycle requirements are met.  Balances above the qualified tiers will be paid the default current rate of your respective checking account (Capital Checking account pays no dividends).
  • If requirements are not met during statement cycle, account will function as your default checking account and earn the stated default APY.
  • Requirements for earning the bonus  dividend rate include: 20 debit card purchase transactions (excluding ATM transactions) per statement cycle to meet base bonus dividend tier, 40 debit card transactions (excluding ATM transactions) per statement cycle for the mid-level bonus tier, 60 debit card transactions (excluding ATM transactions) per statement cycle to meet the top bonus dividend tier, enrollment into eStatements through eBanking and monthly login to eBanking, and recurring direct deposit per statement cycle.
  • Rate quoted 02/2016.  St. Paul Federal reserves the right to change rates and terms without notice.
  • All bank account bonuses are treated as income/interest and as such you have to pay taxes on them

Avoiding Fees

As far as I can see there are no monthly fees to worry about or early account termination fees (although not sure why you would want to close this account).

Our Verdict

This is a pretty insane deal, the requirements are quite high but the fact you can have a balance of up to $20,000 is fantastic especially paired with the 4.99% rate. Here are some creative ideas on how to the the debit card transaction requirement, although I’d be somewhat hesistant to use that too much as they are likely to want to see normal usage on this account.

Unfortunately it’s a hard pull to open, but at least you can fund a small amount with a credit card. Normally I’d say it isn’t worth it due to the hard pull but with the maximum balance of $20,000 I say it is worth it. We’ve added this account to our list of the best high interest accounts.

Hat tip to @telewatcr on Twitter via /r/churning

47 Responses to [MN only] St Paul Federal Credit Union 4.99% On Balances Up To $20,000

  1. banananon says:

    Nice. You also meet the requirements for the membership if you have an immediate family member that works/lives/worships in MSP/St. Paul but isn’t a STFCU member. Will give it a shot later. 60 transactions seems like a pain though.

  2. Skor says:

    I think they do a hard pull. I started the application but did not go through with it – here is their new account agreement:

    If accepted, you will notify us in writing immediately of any important changes. You also agree to notify us of any change in your name, address or employment within a reasonable time thereafter.

    You also promise that everything you have stated in this application is correct to the best of your knowledge. You authorize the credit union to obtain credit reports in connection with this application for membership.

    If you request, the credit union will tell you the name and address of any credit bureau from which it received a credit report on you.

    You understand that it is a federal crime to willfully and deliberately provide incomplete or incorrect information on account applications made to Federal Credit Unions or State Chartered Credit Unions insured by NCUA.

    You also acknowledge that all applicants within this application give their individual intent to apply for joint membership and understand that if they have not and this application is submitted, your application may not be accepted for review by the credit union.

    You authorize St. Paul FCU to pull a ChexSystems Verification, OFAC scan and criminal background verification.

  3. Andrew says:

    Just applied.

    Max CC funding is 2k (1k for savings, 1k for checking) and can be a MC or Visa. I changed my cash advance on my Chase FU to $100 and used that for 1.5% cb. Too bad Im not going for a min spend.

    Requires a manual review so they will call me within a day. Will update with outcome when I find out if Im approved or not.

    I did not get any notices of a hard credit inquiry, but will also update with that. The application had me answer verification questions about my history, so Im guessing they already pulled from either chex or another agency

  4. Moose Cow says:

    Chatted with a rep and was told it would be a hard pull from Experian. I have EX frozen so I’m going to go ahead and see what happens..

    • Moose Cow says:

      Reporting back. Applied online, app went pending. I think it’s mostly a manual process. Talked to a guy who asked me to sign and fax a document which stated they’d do a Chex and credit pull. Haven’t heard back yet, but a new EQ hard pull appeared today(my EX is still frozen).

      This is definitely a hard pull! Still worth it if you can take advantage of the full 5% on $20k.

  5. Tim says:

    I can confirm that it pulls Experian. There are also a few other significant things of note –

    They’re offering 5.15% APY 15 month CDs as well, up to $5K. That’s another $250 after 15 months.

    The rep I spoke with escalated to their higher management about credit card funding, and told me that the credit union charges a $10 fee to fund with a credit card along with processing it as a cash advance charge. This scared me off of trying it, hopefully we hear back from Andrew whether this is necessarily true.

    Lastly, the online chat rep I chatted with before opening my account said that the direct deposit minimum per month was $500. Haven’t confirmed with the representative setting up my account yet.

  6. Tim says:

    In addition, they also have a referral program where you can get up to $125 for both parties per referral.

  7. Terry McAfee says:

    Anyone have any data points on how you met the minimum transactions each month?

    Also, if anyone wants to send me a referral, I am planning to apply soon. I can send you an email address if you reply to this.

    • Tim says:

      Hi Terry,

      Venmo worked last month for my transactions. To follow up on my previous comment, there is no minimum deposit amount that I noticed, Venmo balance deposit seemed to count.

      If you wanted the referral an email of mine is . I’m still hoping to find someone else who was a member before me to retroactively say they referred me as well, might not happen though.

      • Moose Cow says:

        Sent you an email for referral, haven’t heard back. If anyone is interested reply.

        • Tim says:


          Just had a chance to log into that email, was locked out while abroad 🙂

          I’m still willing to give referrals at the same email address, but it looks like the generated links are specific to each person and aren’t reused. I’m not sure whether one person can use a generated link for another’s name.

  8. Moose Cow says:

    Beware, they may pull your credit report twice! I had two injuries show up. What I called up to ask why, they told me the online application automatically pulls one, but the bankers don’t have access to it so they pull again for the manual part of the application. Rather unfortunate.

    • Mike A says:

      That is quite interesting because your authorization to pull your credit should be ONE time. It seems to me they are pulling the second time without authorization from you. If they need to periodically review it then that would be soft pull. I’d dispute the second pull with the credit bureaus…

  9. Terry McAfee says:

    If anyone would like a referral, shoot me an email at mcafeeinvestment at gmail dot com

  10. Shane says:

    DP: Applied 2/5 and app went pending before I was able to CC fund. Got a call today asking for copy of photo ID and utility bill. She said I was red flagged for having so many credit accounts open in the last 12 months. I will send the required docs and see what happens.

  11. TM says:

    Has anyone been using Amazon GC purchases or Venmo for an extended period to meet the debit requirements?

    • Tim says:

      I have gotten interest each month with no issues and those two payment types as my main form of transaction.

      • Steve says:

        How do you use venmo to do this? I am assuming you are using it to get the 60 transactions? Also, any way to do the referral retroactively? I signed up at the branch.

        • Geoff says:

          Have done some Venmo transactions and Amazon gc reloads and got an email today saying my debit transaction count is still at 0 for the month. The logic may have updated 🙁

          • TM says:

            Any follow up on this? Still not working?

          • Geoff says:

            Confirmed, Venmo and Amazon gc reloads do NOT count towards transactions, making this a lot harder to take advantage of.

          • Geoff says:

            Editing prior comment, the reload with the 2% bonus does NOT count as a transaction but the normal reloads do count as POS/Debit transactions.

  12. Sean says:

    If anyone wants a referal link, please e-mail me at seaner9 at g mail dot com


  13. Mike A says:

    The bank informed me that they no longer accept credit cards to fund new accounts. I was however able to open the account without any issues despite having 10 Chex inquires in the past 12 months.

    If anyone is interested in the $125 referral credit please send me an email at ‘’
    Thanks in advance!

  14. Rakso says:

    Looking to open this account. Anyone want to send me a referral?

  15. Jason X says:

    any referral? please send to zjxb at hotmail dot com

  16. Brian says:

    What is your experience like with this checking account as your daily driver? Does the app allow you to deposit a check?

    The app didn’t look very nice and the website looked dated. I’m considering to do this for the yield but I like the WF app.

  17. Mcafeeee says:

    For those using Amazon reloads to meet the debit requirement, are you loading $5 per day (or am I missing a different method?). That’s the minimum reload amount I see on the Auto-reload site. Thanks

    • Mcafeeee says:

      to answer my own question, it appears that auto-reloads are $5 minimum so you have to reload manually if you want to do a lesser amount.

  18. Brian says:

    Can you send me a referral please? I’d like to open an account.

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