Bank of Blue Valley is offering a reward checking account it calls Performance Checking. You can earn 4.01% APY on balances up to $25k if you make at least 12 signature-based debit card transactions per month and either one direct deposit or ACH auto debit per month. If you don't meet these requirements, the yield is 0.25% APY. The yield on balances over $25K is 0.85% APY. Meeting the requirements also gives you free ATM refunds up to $25 per statement. There is no minimum balance to open the account, and there are no monthly fees regardless of meeting the requirements.
Update 1/25/09: The bank is no longer making this account available nationwide. A banking rep has stated in an email that new customers are required to come into a branch to open an account. The account is still listed at CheckingFinder.com, however, it's only shown for zip codes near their branches.
You will need to go through the Checkingfinder.com online application to open our Performance Checking Account. Once your application is reviewed and approved you will receive an email from bankbv.com with further instructions about your debit card, online banking and the account requirements. A Welcome Kit will be mailed to you containing Signature Cards.
Branches are located in the Kansas City suburbs in the towns of Leawood, Overland Park, Shawnee, Olathe and Lenexa. The bank is FDIC insured (FDIC Certificate # 32772).
For other high yield reward checking accounts, please see my summary of the best checking accounts.
Thanks to the reader who emailed me info on this deal.
Edit 3/4/09: Added signature-based requirement as part of debit card transactions.
09/17/09: 4.01% APY up to $25K; 0.85% over $25K; 0.25% base rate
05/21/09: 5.01% APY up to $25K; 0.85% over $25K; 0.35% base rate
05/10/07: 5.51% APY up to $25K; 1.25% over $25K; 0.51% base rate