Best interest checking accounts in California: Top 3

October 3, 2009 No Comments »

Below are the top 3 interest-bearing checking accounts available to the residents of the state of California.

If you are looking for an FDIC insured investment vehicle which is still providing a decent interest rate, then “high yield checking accounts” or “rewards checking accounts” may be your best bet. Keep in mind these accounts come with monthly requirements which must be fulfilled each month by the consumer in order to earn the lucrative interest rate. If you would like to learn more about interest checking accounts, follow the previous link.

As a general rule of thumb, most of the requirements associated with these accounts involve a certain number of debit card transactions, setting up at least one ACH automatic payment and enrolling in e-statements. They will also only provide the high interest up to a maximum balance which may vary between $10,000 and $100,000, however the majority of these account offers set the max at $25k.

Top 3 interest checking accounts available in California:

(click on the institution for more information)

  • Bank of the Sierra: 4.51% APY on balances up to $25,000. This account is available to customers nationwide and has been featured as one of the best interest checking accounts offered throughout the country.
  • FAST Federal Credit Union: 4.08% APY on balances up to $25,000. Like most rewards checking accounts, you must complete 10 debit transactions, set up one recurring direct deposit payment and enroll to receive e-statements. This account is available to California residents only.
  • Pacific Resource Credit Union: 4.07% APY on balances up to $25,000. This account functions the same as most interest checking accounts, however they call it the “high flying checking account.” This account is also available nationwide even though the branches all reside within the state of California.

Why we like these accounts:

With all the monthly requirements, terms and conditions regarding these accounts, I think it’s suffice to say that you’ll probably need to make it your primary checking account to garner the lucrative returns. BankVibe readers who have tried to make these secondary accounts to reap the APY’s, have in many cases, failed to meet the monthly requirements which has left them garnering a far more modest rate. In today’s savings environment though, these are very rewarding alternatives to the standard online savings account or certificate of deposit. While rates hover around all time lows these are a breath of fresh air for FDIC-insured savings account seekers. When rates do rise again, however, these accounts will likely fall out of favor to the much lower maintenance requirements of traditional CD’s or money market accounts.

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