Credit union interest checking accounts routinely beat other types of accounts, including those from banks, when it comes to offering higher interest rates, says Mike Schenk, a vice president of the Credit Union National Association, or CUNA, in Madison, Wis.
"On average, there's about a 15-basis-point advantage with credit unions," Schenk says. When the economy improves, he expects the advantage to increase.
"Credit unions are not for profit. They're owned by their member depositors, so any profits go back to those members," he says.
Interest checking accounts that earn more than the industry average usually have conditions attached, such as requirements for direct deposit or a minimum number of debit transactions each month, Schenk says.
However, if those conditions fit your regular banking style, you may be able to take advantage of an interest checking account through a credit union and earn some of the best rates around.
Here are five common ways that consumers can qualify for credit union checking accounts that earn relatively high annual percentage yields, or APY.