Bank Rewards Checking

NOTE: As of 2 March 2012, this page is no longer being updated.

The table below list banks that offer at least 4% interest on their rewards checking accounts. This is one of my favorite savings vehicles and gives me FDIC insured accounts with high liquidity. The drawback is that sometimes the high yields do not last for long and then another bank has to be found. I keep this table up-to-date to help me and others find the best banks for our deposits. Bauer Financial ratings are included (see note 5).

How Rewards Checking Works

Rewards Checking is simple enough. Meet the requirements and you can earn 4% APR on your checking account. The requirements are typically 10 transactions a month, an automated deposit, and receive bank statements electronically. For more details read about my first experience with Rewards Checking.

News of Bank Rewards Checking

Thank you to the readers who have informed me of rate changes. There are no bank rewards checking accounts at 4% that are offered nationally. I am seeing more restrictions on some rewards checking accounts. I identify some of them in the Gotchas section.

In the table below, if you sort the Verified column, you will find several banks where I cannot find their reward checking rates online. What is there to hide? If you have a great rate, let us know. It saves everyone time and effort to accurately represent your product.

Table of 4 Percent and higher Bank Rewards Checking Accounts

Click ONCE on column headers to sort.

Banking Institution Main Branch APY 1st Tier Up To2 APY 2nd Tier Transactions per Month3 Login4 Rating5 Verified6
American National Bank of DeKalb County Illinois 4.25% $15,000 0.85% 12 DC + 1 ACH or 1 DD No **** Yes
Capital Bank N. Carolina 4.01% $10,000 0.30% 10 DC + 1 ACH or 1 DD No * No
Center National Bank Minnesota 4.11% $10,000 0.30% 10 DC + 1 ACH or 1 DD No ***** Yes
ChoiceOne Bank7 Michigan 4.00% $15,000 0.50% 20 DC + 1 DD No ***½ Yes
Consumers National Bank Ohio 4.00% $10,000 0.02% 25 DC + 1 DD No **** Yes
Coppermark Bank Oklahoma & Texas 4.00% $25,000 0.10% 16 DC + 1 ACH or 1 DD No ***** Yes
Cornerstone Bank Arkansas 4.51% $25,000 0.50% 15 DC + 2 ACH or 2 DD No **** No
Fidelity Homestead Savings Bank Louisiana 4.11% $20,000 0.50% 10 DC + 1 ACH or 1 DD No ***** No
First Community National Bank Missouri 4.01% $25,000 0.50% 10 DC + 1 ACH or 1 DD + 1 OLP or < 5 checks No **** Yes
First State Bank of Middlebury Indiana 5.18% $10,000 0.50% 45 DC + 1 ACH or 1 DD No ***** Yes
Freestar Bank7 Illinois 4.00% $25,000 0.25% 10 DC + 1 DD + 1 OLP No **** No
Gibsland Bank & Trust Louisiana 4.11% $15,000 0.51% 15 DC + 1 ACH or 1 DD No **** Yes
Goldwater Bank7 Arizona 5.02% $20,000 0.10% 10 DC + 1 DD + 3 OLP No * No
Home Federal Bank Louisiana 4.00% $25,000 ? 12 DC + 1 DD ($100) No ***** Yes
Landmark Bank Louisiana 5.01% $25,000 1.01% 10 DC + 1 ACH or 1 DD No ***** No
Liberty National Bank7 Ohio 4.01% $25,000 0.50% 25 DC + 1 DD + OLP No ***** Yes
Liberty National Bank Oklahoma 4.11% $10,000 0.50% 12 DC + 1 ACH or 1 DD No ***** Yes
Page County State Bank Iowa 4.01% $25,000 1.01% 10 DC + 1 ACH or 1 DD No ***** Yes
RCB Bank Tennessee 4.10% $15,000 0.25% 12 DC Yes ? Yes
Southern Bank Missouri 4.01% $15,000 1.01% 12 DC + 1 ACH or 1 DD No ***** Yes
Vintage Bank Texas 4.00% $10,000 0.75% 10 DC + 1 ACH No **** No

Last updated: 23 December 2011

Notes

Before opening an account at any bank, verify all rates and qualifications for yourself.

1. Eligibility. There are no accounts at 4% that are available nationally.

2. The 1st tier rate is paid on amounts up to the sum listed in the Up To column. The 2nd tier rate is paid on amounts over the sum in the Up To column. The bank must pay the high yield at least up to a $5,000 balance or they are not listed.

3. Required transactions per month key to abbreviations:

  • ACH = Automated Clearing House Automatic Debit.
  • DC = Debit Card (excluding ATM).
  • DD = Direct Deposit.
  • OLP = On-Line Payment.
  • ATM = Automated Teller Machine transaction required.

4. Stay alert for those banks that require you to access your account at least once a month. It can easily be forgotten and I would sooner there not be one extra thing for you to remember that really serves no purpose except for you to lose all your interest for the month.

5. Bauer Financial carefully analyzes the stability of banks and credit unions. They give ratings on a scale of zero to five stars. I advise going with a bank rated 3 stars or higher, although with FDIC insurance it shouldn’t really matter.

  • 5 Stars = Superior
  • 4 Stars = Excellent
  • 3½ Stars = Good
  • 3 Stars = Adequate
  • 2 Stars = Problematic
  • 1 Star = Troubled
  • 0 Stars = Lowest Rating

Last update of all Bauer Financial ratings in the table: 7 March 2011.

6. If I can verify the interest rate on the bank website I record a Yes. Otherwise I record a No. To verify for yourself, call the bank.

7. Gotchas:

Bank of the Southwest: Write five or less checks per month. This is not a significant restriction for most people.

ChoiceOne Bank: A monthly maintenance fee of $5.00 will be imposed every statement cycle if a minimum of 25 debit card transactions are not completed.

Freestar Bank: If any checks are written or your balance exceeds $25,000 the lower rate applies. How sick is that?

Goldwater Bank: Balances less than $1,000 invoke a service charge of $15 per month.

Liberty National Bank: There is an $8.00 a month fee for SuperSmart Checking, which is waived if 40 Debit Card Transactions are made during a statement cycle.

Updates

July 2009 — Added The Community State Bank, MBT Bank, and First National Bank of Pontotoc. Removed because their rates fell below 5%: Adams Co-operative Bank, Asheville Savings Bank, Cross County Bank, The Community State Bank, and Bank of Putnam County.
August 2009 — Added BC National Bank, United Bank, Vision Bank, and Foundations Bank. Removed because their rates fell below 5%: Bank of Asheville, First National Bank of Olathe, The Page Valley Bank, Progress Bank, Pony Express Bank, and First State Bank of Kansas City.
September 2009 — Added Britton & Koontz Bank, Farmers Bank & Trust, First Southern National Bank, Farmers State Bank, Farmers & Merchants Bank, Bank of Edwardsville, Texas Heritage National Bank, First National Bank of Syracuse, Girard National Bank, and First American Bank. Removed because their rates fell below 5%: Bank of Blue Valley, The Bank of Georgia, First Clover Leaf Bank, First National Bank of Pontotoc, and Southeast National Bank.
October 2009 — Added First Nebraska Bank, Landmark Bank, Geo.D. Warthen Bank, and American National Bank of Fremont. Removed because their rates fell below 5%: First National Bank of Berlin, Bartow County Bank, Grand Bank of Texas, and Legend Bank.
November 2009 — Added Village Bank, Charter Bank, Carolina Premier Bank, Goldwater Bank, Cedar Rapids Bank & Trust, Quad City Bank & Trust, and Citizens First Bank. Removed because their rates fell below 5%: Valley Bank, Community National Bank, First State Bank & Trust, and Greater Rome Bank.
December 2009 — Added River City Bank, First National Bank of Scottsdale, Mid America Bank & Trust Company, and Sonoran Bank. Removed because their rates fell below 5%: BC National Bank.
January 2010 — Added The Farmers State Bank and Bank of the Southwest. Removed because their rates fell below 5%: Citizens First Bank, Franklin Bank & Trust Company, Farmers & Merchants Bank, First National Bank of Scottsdale, Incommons Bank, Liberty Bank, Rio Bank, Bank 1440, American National Bank of Fremont, and Bank of Edwardsville.
March 2010 — Removed because their rates fell below 5%: Bank2, First National Bank of Syracuse, Foundations Bank, Founders Bank, Guaranty Bank, Hyperion Bank, Texas Heritage National Bank, First Southern National Bank, and Farmers Bank & Trust.
April 2010 — Removed because their rates fell below 5%: Union State Bank, First American Bank, Girard National Bank, Sonoran Bank, Vision Bank, and Carolina Premier Bank.
May 2010 — Removed because their rates fell below 5%: Crescent State Bank and Village Bank. Added a Verified column.
June 2010 — Added many banks with rates 4% or higher but under 5%. Added Texas Citizens Bank. Removed because their rates fell below 4%: Bank of Newington, River City Bank, and MBT Bank.
August 2010 — Randolph Bank is no longer available nationally.
September 2010 — Removed because their rates fell below 4%: Crescent State Bank, United Bank, and Carolina Premier Bank. Added Select Bank & Trust, The East Carolina Bank, and Beacon Federal Bank.
October 2010 — 37 banks removed because their rates fell below 4%.
November 2010 — Added Liberty National Bank (Oklahoma) and Lumbee Guaranty Bank. MidCarolina Bank, Alliance Bank, American National Bank, Bank of Beaver City, Charter Bank, Farmers State Bank, First National Bank of Pontotoc, First State Bank, irard National Bank, Reliabank Dakota, Security National Bank, Slocomb National Bank, The First State Bank, Community Bank of Pickens Co., and Baltimore Co. Savings Bank removed because their rates fell below 4%.
December 2010 — Added Fidelity Homestead Savings Bank and Commercial Bank and Trust. Removed because their rates fell below 4%: Bank of the Valley, Coastal Commerce Bank, Farmers & Merchants Bank, First National Bank of Syracuse, First State Bank & Trust Co., Grand Bank, Grand Savings Bank, NBRS Financial Bank, and Inland Northwest Bank.
January 2011 — Removed because their rates fell below 4%: Randolph Bank & Trust.
February 2011 — Added Hancock Bank & Trust. Removed because their rates fell below 4%: ACCESSbank, Beacon Federal Bank, Cambridge Savings Bank, Community Bank, Farmers State Bank, First Nebraska Bank, Founders Bank, Incommons Bank, Independent Bank, Legend Bank, North Carolina Bank & Trust, Peoples Bank and Trust, St. Martin Bank & Trust Co., and Lumbee Guaranty Bank. Britton & Koontz Bank rate changed from 5.25% to 4.25%.
March 2011 — Removed because their rates fell below 4%: United Mississippi Bank and The East Carolina Bank.
April 2011 — Added Home Federal Bank and American National Bank. Removed because their rates fell below 4%: Maquoketa State Bank, Hancock Bank & Trust, and Britton & Koontz Bank.
May 2011 — Removed because their rates fell below 4%: Andrew Johnson Bank, Pony Express Bank, and Mid America Bank & Trust Co.
July 2011 — Added Consumers National Bank. Removed because their rates fell below 4%: 1st Commonwealth Bank of Virginia, BankWest, Coastal Carolina National Bank, Integrity Bank, Quad City Bank & Trust, Suburban Bank and Trust, and Vision Bank.
September 2011 — Removed because their rates fell below 4%: Commercial Bank and Trust, National Bank of Arkansas, Rockford Bank & Trust, and ViewPoint Bank.
October 2011 — Added First State Bank of Middlebury, American National Bank of DeKalb County, Coppermark Bank, Gibsland Bank & Trust, First Community National Bank, Texas Bank, and Vintage Bank. Removed because their rates fell below 4%: Bank2, Centera Bank, First Community Bank, Fort Morgan State Bank, Jeff Davis Bank, MB Financial Bank, Midwest Bank, Select Bank & Trust, and United Bank & Trust.
December 2011 — Removed because their rates fell below 4%: American National Bank, Bank of the Southwest, Cedar Rapids Bank & Trust, Geo.D. Warthen Bank, Resource Bank, Select Bank & Trust, and Texas Bank.
Rickety signature.