I’m a recent convert to the world of online high-yield savings accounts. Now that I have my debt paid off, I can finally afford to save some money. It was difficult for me to choose an account: Should I go with the highest interest rate? Or should I opt for the best customer service?

I’m not a rate-chaser, so I chose ING Direct. Their current 4.10% rate is lower than most places, but I’ve heard nothing but praise for the company’s service and ease-of-use. I have a few hundred dollars stashed there as the start of my emergency fund, though I plan to add more in the coming year.

But GRS reader Chris F. recently pointed me to Advantis Credit Union, a Portland-area institution offering 6.25% interest. That’s far enough above the 4.10% I’m earning at ING Direct that I’m willing to switch. Plus I’d be doing business with a local company!

The Advantis Fusion checking account offers a 6.25% APY on the first $30,000 deposited, and 1.01% APY on anything additional. There are no minimums and no fees but you must meet a few requirements. For example, you must live in the Portland-metropolitan area to open an account. In order to receive the 6.25% APY each month, you must also:

  • Use your check card 12 times or more.
  • Have one of the following occur monthly on your account: direct deposit, ACH deposit/withdrawal, automatic bill payment.
  • Receive your statements electronically.
  • Log in to online banking at least once per month.

The FAQ for the account provides more information. I can meet most of the requirements with ease, but I worry about the “12 transactions a month” clause. I’m trying to reduce my spending — will I really use a debit card three times a week? Probably, but I’m not certain.

This deal almost sounds too good to be true, but I’d be a fool not to look into it. So, next Tuesday I’m making a Get Rich Slowly field trip. I had hoped that working from home would allow me to do some research, and here’s an opportunity to do so. And it’s a trip that just might make me money.