Elements Financial CU: 3.25% APY Savings Guaranteed For 1 Year, 4% APY Rewards Checking

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Update: 3.25% APY Savings Guaranteed For 1 Year has expired. 4% APY Rewards Checking looks to be still available.

Elements Financial Credit Union has a new promo rate of 3.25% APY on their Helium Savings account. The promo rate is valid for 12 months from your account opening date, and only on “New Money Not Already on Deposit at Elements”. (Technically, it lasts until the 1st of the 12 month after you initial month, so actually between 11 and 12 months.) Valid on balances $2,500 and above. No monthly fee. Current Helium Savings account holders and those with Helium Savings accounts closed less than 90 days are not eligible.

This is an interesting combination because this is a liquid savings account where you can still add or take money out whenever you want, but still enjoy a floor rate of 3.25% APY for a year (usually liquid savings account can also decrease their rate with zero notice). Essentially acts as a 12-month No Penalty CD at 3.25% APY with partial withdrawals and add-on deposits allowed.

There is also a promo rate of 4% APY on their High Interest Checking account. Also for new accountholders only, with the promo APY fixed for 12 months from account opening date. Requires 15 qualifying transactions every statement cycle. Only valid on balances up to $20,000. No monthly fee with electronic statements.

I’m usually not a fan of these “reward checking” accounts, but if you’re already going to open another account there, this might is worth considering. Their definition of qualifying transactions is also less strict than others. The following are qualifying transactions: Debit card purchases, checks, bill payments, ATM withdrawals and ACH withdrawals.

Per DepositAccounts, anyone can join with one-time $5 membership in Tru Direction, a not-for-profit organization dedicated to improving financial literacy. However, I couldn’t find anything about this on their membership page, other than Elements will provide you with $5:

Open an Elements checking or savings account or apply for a loan or credit card. During the application process, we will open you an Elements savings account (that’s the part that makes your membership official). We’ll even put $5 in to get you started — no need to transfer funds from an existing account!

I don’t plan on opening this account myself as I hope others will soon follow (and I’m still waiting to see if some juicy credit union CDs pop up), but this is a top rate right now for liquid savings.

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Comments

  1. These are still attractive interest rates.

  2. What do you mean by “with PARTIAL withdrawals and add-on deposits allowed.” I checked Helium’s website but see nothing about only allowing partial withdrawals. Thanks!

    • Usually if you have a CD, you can break it before maturity but often you have to take the whole amount. So if you bought a $10,000 CD, you’d have to withdraw the whole thing with added interest minus whatever penalty. Simply having a guaranteed rate on a savings account is much more flexible (but usually savings account don’t guarantee their rates).

  3. Jason Boxman says

    “This is an interesting combination because this is a liquid savings account where you can still add or take money out whenever you want, but still enjoy a floor rate of 3.25% APY for a year”

    So this is not subject to regulation D six transaction limit monthly? I can’t tell if the regulation D suspension was ever rescinded?

    Thanks!

    • re six transaction limit monthly, I remember it was “suspended” when Pandemic started.

      I am curios also if Elements has the restriction still?

  4. Depositaccounts.com has them rated at B+ with a Capitalization rating of C-. Shoud that be of any concern?

    Also, what’s there limits for withdrawals?

  5. Account appear a bit more interesting given the changes to HMBradley announced today. Better rate with less hoops. Thoughts?

  6. Jason Boxman says

    So the limits here are a cause for concern:

    “Is there a limit to the amount I can transfer using Bank to Bank Transfers in Online Banking?
    Yes, the per transaction limit for bank-to-bank transfers is typically $5,000, with a maximum of $10,000 per day, and $50,000 per month.

    For the first 31 days after you open your first account with Elements, the limits are $1,000 per transaction, with a maximum of $2,000 per day, and up to $10,000 per month.”

    It isn’t clear what their inbound limits might be, money pushed from another bank, or what the limits might be for funds pulled into another bank out of Elements via ACH initiated on the receiving end.

    SoFi has an insanely high monthly limit, so I might just consolidate my savings and checking all in a single place and just be done with it. Rate chasing is a hassle.

  7. Jason Boxman says

    Wow. Confirmed via email; They reject inbound ACH that exceeds limits from another bank.

    So this is a definite no go. I can’t have my money held hostage.

    “Hello,

    Yes, we will reject the ACH if it is over the limit. “

    • 2. Is there a limit if initiated from Elements?
      1. What is the inbound ACH limit?

    • So if you push from another bank $20K they will reject? Really? Why would a bank reject new money deposits?

      • Jason Boxman says

        I didn’t realize this was even a thing, but yes. I transferred money from Alliant into Juno a few years ago, over the limit; Rejected with ACH rejection fee from Alliant. (The Juno limit on their side was like 2,500; apparently regardless of where it is initiated.)

        Was very irate. I always look into ACH limits now.

        • Interesting! I always knew banks have limits but in regards to pushing out from that bank not upon being a recipient of money coming in. I had an issue with a bank once, so I pushed money in from Ally ( great bank) . When I needed the money I pulled it out from Ally and had no issue. As long as the transaction was initiated from the bank with higher limits.

        • Btw, rarely do I pay for fee after I complain about it and/or escalate to a higher level. I always get “ as a one time courtesy we will wave the fee”?

        • Btw, rarely do I pay for fee after I complain about it and/or escalate to a higher level. I always get “ as a one time courtesy we will wave the fee”?

  8. Jeanette Lindquist says

    I signed up for Helium account at Elements and got external banks set up for transfers. Now that I am going to transfer money, I see the rate is only 1% and not 3.25%

  9. I just got set up with these accounts. I normally wouldn’t bother but the 12 month guarantee really made this enticing. Customer service was helpful in raising electronic check deposit limits to get me started-I was transparent with them about how much I wanted to deposit and they obliged.

    It’s also helpful that the credit union has co-op branches and atms near me so if I do need to use a brick and mortar branch, I can.

    I feel like I did my homework here before making this move and I’m hopeful my experience with Elements will remain good.

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