The financial media left “Rewards Checking Accounts” on the sidelines in 2012 despite the fact that these products were yielding some pretty fantastic rates when compared to other FDIC-insured liquid savings account options.
This year, however, we expect them to be discussed a little more – especially if rates remain as low as they are now.
Here at BankVibe.com we gave a substantial amount of notification to these products a few years ago when certificate of deposit and money market account rates began to take their infamous nose dive. During this time, practically all FDIC-insured (or NCUA-insured) banking products saw their interest rates decline drastically. Because of this, rewards checking accounts quickly grabbed the spot light due to the fact that their yields remained largely unaffected.
The reason these products could maintain such resectable interest rates (and still do) despite having the savings rate landscape crumble around them has to do with the tradeoff made between the customers and the institutions. The trade off is this: certain monthly actions must be made by the customer in exchange for a well above average interest rate to be applied the balance. In general the monthly requirements will include a 1) recurring deposit from another account, 2) a specified number of monthly debit card transactions (usually 10-15) and 3) receiving paperless or e-statements.
The monthly requirements of these accounts haven’t changed much over the last few years, however, the interest rates – while still extremely solid when compared to other savings products – have dwindled slightly as a whole.
Below are our 10 favorite rewards checking accounts on the market so far in 2013. We’ve only listed ones with easily manageable requirements – so long as you use them as your primary checking accounts.
Top 10 Rewards Checking Accounts:
(The banks/credit unions listed below may be geographically exclusive. Check with your local credit unions and community banks, as geographically exclusive institutions can sometimes offer better rates.)
|Pelican State Credit Union
|Kasasa Cash||4.01%||balances up to $10k||1) 15 monthly debit card transactions. 2) receive electronic statements only. 3) 1 monthly direct deposit.|
|Money One Federal Credit Union||REWARDSchecking||3.01%||balances up to $10k||1) 10 debit card purchases post and clear (ATM usage does not count toward the 10 purchases).
2) 1 Automatic Payment or Direct Deposit post and clear.
3) Receive your account statement electronically.
4) Sign in to your online banking account at least once.
|Lake Michigan Credit Union||Max Checking||3.00%||balances up to $15k||1) Direct deposit into any LMCU account.
2) Minimum of 10 debit card purchases per month.
3) Minimum of 4 logins to home banking per month.
4) Be eligible for and sign up to receive eStatements/eNotices.
|Consumers Credit Union||Rewards Checking||3.09%||balances up to $5k||1) 12 monthly debit card purchases. 2) 1 Direct Deposit. 3) Sign-up to receive e-statements.|
|Capital Educators Federal Credit Union||High Yield Checking||2.50%||balances up to $10k||1) 12 monthly debit card purchases. 2) 1 Direct Deposit. 3) Sign-up to receive e-statements.|
|ABCO Federal Credit Union||Premiere Checking||2.12%||balances up to $25k||1) 10 debit card transactions. 2) Receive all statements electronically. 3) 1 direct deposit or money transfer.|
|Randolph Bank||Reward Checking||2.02%||balances up to $25k||1) 6 point of sale card transactions (minimum $20, ATM transactions not included). 2) Electronic statements. 3) 1 direct deposit or auto ACH or Bill Pay – Extra-Mile Choice – Limited to NC, VA, TN, SC, GA and FL customers only.|
|Advantage Bank||Rewards Checking||2.00%||balances up to $10k||1) 10 monthly debit card purchases. 2) 1 Direct Deposit. 3) Sign-up to receive e-statements.|
|Redneck Bank||Rewards Checking||2.00%||balances up to $10k||1) 10 monthly debit card purchases. 2) 1 Direct Deposit. 3) Sign-up to receive e-statements.|
|America Net Bank||Rewards Checking||2.00%||balances up to $10k||1) 10 monthly debit card purchases. 2) 1 Direct Deposit. 3) Sign-up to receive e-statements.|
Did we miss a solid rewards checking account available in 2012? If so, let us know about it!
You can also comb through the best rewards checking account offers from the past in our archives.
Compare with the top money market and savings rates available nationwide below.