More High-Yield Checking Options

by Lynn B. Johnson on December 14, 2009

High-Yield Checking AccountNow, here at Wallet Blog we’re no strangers to high-yield, interest-bearing checking accounts. Wrote about Focus Bank back in May and yes, their offer still stands. But how could I be content, knowing that I’ve only alerted you to one 4.51% checking account? Time to rectify that situation with a few other options.

For instance: Bank of the Sierra, based in my beloved California, also offers a 4.51% yield checking account. And you don’t have to be a millionaire to enjoy their top interest rate; you can open the account with only $50, and you’ll earn 4.51% APY on balances up to $25,000, so long as you meet the minimum qualifications for that statement cycle. (Qualifications include a minimum of 12 Sierra Check Card purchases per statement cycle, minimum of one direct deposit/automatic payment monthly, one Sierra BillPay payment per cycle, eStatements, and you must open the account line.) And, if that’s not enough, there are no monthly fees, you can earn up to $25 in ATM refunds each statement cycle, and there is a beautiful picture of Sequoia redwoods on their Sierra Reward Checking Web page. Click here to learn more and to open an account. Please note that the account is available nationwide, but you must be a U.S. resident or a U.S. resident alien to apply.

Royal Banks of Missouri Majestic Checking Account offers a 4.30% APY on daily collected balances up to $24,999, eStatements, and free online banking and bill pay. The requirements are 10 POS debit transactions, 1 direct deposit and/or ACH debit/credit, and you must receive statements electronically. You must meet these requirements each statement cycle to earn up to $25.00 in ATM rebates.

But wait, there’s more! FNCB also offers a high-yield checking account, called its “Maximum Earning (ME) Account.” ME account holders enjoy a 4.01% yield on an balance up to $25,000. Yes, this APY is lower than Focus Bank or Bank of the Sierra, but their free nationwide ATM usage program helps you make up the difference: they’ll reimburse up to $999.99 of ATM fees per statement cycle! The ME account also has no monthly fees. Again, there are qualifications: 10 debit/check card transactions per cycle (excluding ATM transactions), one monthly recurring direct deposit or automatic payment from your account, and a monthly electronic statement. Other benefits on qualifying account include a $700 bounce-protection limit, free overdraft protection, no-fee travelers checks, and a free safe deposit box for one year. Not bad.

OK, so that’s three nationwide high-yield accounts. There are other options for you if you live in a particular state. Gulf Coast Bank and Trust Co. also offers 4.51% interest on balances up to $25,000 and will refund your ATM fees, assuming you fulfill the three qualifiers each billing cycle: minimum of 12 check-card purchases, one automatic payment/direct deposit transfer/online bill payment, and that you receive an electronic monthly statement. If you can meet those requirements and you live in Louisiana, learn more about Gulf Coast Bank and Trust Co. Interest Checking here.

There are others but the geographic limitations are rather stringent. Anybody know of any other great high-yield checking accounts, either available nationwide or statewide? Enlighten us, please!

Discussion

HawaiiGal
Focus Bank is not nationwide either. Maybe you mean that folks can go to an ATM nationwide, but if they still have to reside locally that doesn't help me. So if you can update with banks that will allow anyone to do online banking with them that would be really useful to me.
November 11 at 16:21 pm
HawaiiGal
Thanks for this article as I really need one of these accounts. But please update it. The Sierra Bank account is only available to "This account is available exclusively to all residents of CA or WV" not national. I'm in Hawaii so looking for national online banks and it is taking a long time to check each of these banks. Wish they said upfront on their home pages that they are limited geographically but usually it is really buried.
November 11 at 16:16 pm
Ray
Updates needed --- most info not current &/or not accurate.
November 1 at 03:50 am
Stefanie
Just a thought....you might want to check out easyGROW Checking, the high yield account offered by the company where I work: www.easygrowchecking.com
January 29 at 12:27 pm

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