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.

GRS is committed to helping our readers save and achieve their financial goals. Savings interest rates may be low, but that is all the more reason to shop for the best rate. Find the highest savings interest rates and CD rates from Synchrony Bank, Ally Bank, and more.