Serving the community since 1922

Strata launches Stocks Rewards Checking

Strata Credit Union has launched Stock Rewards Checking, which allows members to earn fractional stocks as rewards on debit card transactions. This new checking account removes barriers that keep underserved people from investing, the credit union says.

With Stock Rewards Checking, members earn 1% of each debit card transaction, up to $15 per month, which can be redeemed for fractional shares of popular stocks.

Kelly Fargo, the vice president of community relations explained what was behind the new product. "For our members looking for an easy way to participate in the stock market, this solution provides an accessible way for them to invest. It allows them to micro-invest and build wealth.

"If they are existing checking account holders, they can convert their current checking account to a Stock Rewards Checking or they can sign up virtually through the website or call us at 661-327-9461. You can also come to one of our four branches, three in Bakersfield or the one in Wasco."

Nonmembers can open an account with a $25 deposit.

"It makes the stock market accessible, and you can participate and manage that investment easily, 24/7. The shares are yours to buy, sell or hold through a brokerage account managed by our partner, Bits of Stock. It's all managed through our online app. A tutorial video on our website will walk them through it."

For the initial stock selection, you can choose from 10 preselected stocks. Afterward, over 600 stocks are available, including the popular NASDAQ and NYSE indexes

"This program is not unlike other apps out there, but we are only one of two financial institutions in the country that have this model available for our members. It allows people to participate in the stock market by purchasing fractional shares rather than whole shares. Fractional shares allow you to invest in stocks based on a dollar amount rather than by whole shares. So, you may end up with a fraction of a share, a whole share, or more than one share, depending on the cost of the stock and how much you invest."

The program launched on June 5, and the response has been positive so far. "New members are happy to have the option of choosing between a traditional checking account or the new Stock Rewards option. For those interested in investing, the Stock Rewards Checking account has been very popular, Fargo said. The Wasco branch is at 2830 Hwy 46 in the Walmart Shopping Center. For more information on Stocks Rewards Checking, call 661-327-9461.


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