26 Dec 2008 Recently the rewards checking rate dropped to 4% at Lee County Bank and Trust. See Bank Rewards Checking for banks still offering at least 5% on their rewards checking.
8 Jan 2009 Today I received notice that tomorrow the rate drops to 3%. Good grief that’s hardly rewards checking and I’m sure some customers will not appreciate the short notice. One wonders if the bank is in some sort of trouble. Fortunately I already pulled out my money and signed up with Deseret First Credit Union.
I wrote earlier about my experience with rewards checking at Coulee Bank. Lee County Bank and Trust offer the same 6.01% APY with their rewards checking account. They require 10 check card transactions a month, one automatic payment a month, online statements, and accessing your account at least once a month. They pay 6.01% on the first $25,000 and 2.50% on anything above that. The base rate for not meeting requirements is 0.15%. For those with a lot of spare cash, the 2.50% is a very good rate. However, I am merely looking for a backup account to transfer to if Coulee Bank should drop their rates or become rickety.
The whole process of signing up for my Lee County Bank and Trust account took a month. Not exactly at the speed of internet time. It began with the initial signup June 26 through CheckingFinder where I electronically made my first deposit. This was very smooth and I received an email saying:
Your application for The Big Account was successful. You will be contacted shortly by a representative at Lee County Bank & Trust, N.A.
The next day I was indeed contacted with a pleasant email which began:
Let me be the first to welcome you to Lee County Bank & Trust, N.A. We are so happy to have you as a new Big Account Checking customer. Your account has been approved and I’d like to let you know what you can expect from here.
In the mail I was to receive these several documents to sign and be notarized:
- Online Statement Agreement
- Combined ATM/POS/Debit Card request form
- Account Holder Card
- TIN/Backup Withholding
- Online Banking Service Application
- Notary Acknowledgment (just fill out, not sign)
This was not particularly stressful, as I stopped by my Credit Union on the way home from work and they notarized the documents for no charge. This was accomplished by June 6.