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CREATING OPPORTUNITIES TO HELP PEOPLE’S MONEY WORK HARDER FOR THEM

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High-yield checking account features two ways to increase dividend rate on deposit balances

Today’s economic environment has given everyone pause when it comes to their hard-earned money. With that in mind, an account we originally developed for a specific type of depositor/investor is finding new interest by a host of new members just trying to make their dollars stretch as far as possible in today’s tough economic times.

High-yield checking (HYC) was originally developed in response to members looking to earn more money on deposits held in a checking account up to a certain limit because most of their financial assets were invested in stocks, bonds, real estate, and mutual funds. The sole criterium for earning a higher return was to simply use their InTouch Credit Union (ITCU) debit card to pay for qualifying purchases. Many are finding this account very appealing because they are hyper-focused on making their dollars work as hard as possible to help fight higher prices caused by inflation.

When HYC was created, we were determined to focus on creating what we felt members would most appreciate in a checking program. Even the best accounts are frequently only good for a select audience and we wanted to make sure HYC resonated with most of our membership. While ITCU offered a money market-like account and time deposit accounts such as CDs, they are not considered to be as liquid or flexible as a payment instrument. HYC offers accountholders the best of both worlds – payments flexibility and a higher rate of return.

This HYC account is a great option for members looking for higher returns on their deposits and/or just making their dollars go farther. The account is paying one of the highest dividend rates ever since it was first introduced. Plus, we are not asking our members to spend a dime more than they usually do in a given month to qualify for the highest rate. We are simply rewarding them for using their ITCU debit card.

While the HYC account benefits our members, its usage also benefits the communities we serve. ITCU earns a small interchange from debit card transactions based on purchase volume. Greater volumes produce greater income, higher dividend rates, and as an added bonus, revenue that is transferred to our “You and Us, Fighting Hunger Together” initiative, a goal to raise $1 million for area food banks in our communities. It’s a win-win as we’re helping members and our local communities in a positive way. ITCU strives to make a difference within the communities we serve.

HYC appeals to members that are primarily focused on a checking account that pays interest and uses their debit cards for purchases. The minimum-frills HYC account pays dividends based on monthly net debit card spending. The higher the spending amount, the higher their dividend rate for the month. HYC accountholders will enjoy a 4.07% annual percentage yield (APY) on the average daily balance of their checking account, up to $30K, for net debit card spending greater than $2,500 each month.

In addition to high dividend yields based on debit card purchases, members have the opportunity to increase their earnings even more through high-yield checking deposit certificates (CDs). HYC CDs offer members owning an HYC account higher CD dividend rates than equivalent term, regular CDs. Members also receive additional benefits from a high-yield checking account, such as free ITCU withdrawals, no withdrawal surcharges on CO-OP ATMs, and up to four withdrawal fees waived on other ATMs per month. While this type of account may not appeal to everyone, it has provided an opportunity for ITCU to serve members through a program that gives back not only to them, but to our communities, too. With its appeal now appreciated by even more members, our HYC allows us to give back even more to those in need.

About Kent Lugrand
Kent has been President & CEO of InTouch Credit Union (ITCU) since February 2005. He has a bachelor’s degree from Westminster College in Fulton, Missouri, an MBA degree from the University of Notre Dame in South Bend, Indiana, over 30 years of financial institution management experience and is a continual learner. Kent serves on several non-profit boards that focus on giving back to the community.

About InTouch Credit Union
InTouch Credit Union (ITCU) is a financial cooperative that has proudly served members since 1974. ITCU is committed to creating positive value propositions by delivering money management tools and financial services through high-quality, proven digital systems at competitive prices. With branches in three states, and assets of over $1 billion, ITCU serves more than 90,000 members in all 50 states and more than 20 countries around the world. Membership eligibility rules are available on  ITCU.org. ITCU can also be found on  Facebook, Twitter,  Instagram and LinkedIn.

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