Update 8/22/10: The top rate is now 0.86%. The Federal Reserve issued a Prompt Corrective Action against First Banking Center on 8/11/10
Update 12/17/09: The bank has stopped offering the Rewards Checking account. A confirmation of this has been received from the bank's CSR.
Update 11/28/09: A reader has reported that the top rate is scheduled to fall to 3.01% APY effective December 1, 2009. Refer to the bottom of the post for the rate history.
First Banking Center has started the a Rewards Checking account that pays 0.86% APY on all balances and refunds ATM fees if the typical reward checking monthly requirements are met: 1) 10 check card purchases, 2) one direct deposit or ACH auto debit, and 3) receive electronic statements. If these are not met, the rate falls to 0.10%. There's only a $1 minimum initial opening deposit, and no monthly service charges or balance requirements regardless if the above requirements are met.
It appears that a branch visit is required for a first time customer. Branches are located in South Central and Southeastern Wisconsin. The bank has been FDIC insured since 1934 (FDIC Certificate # 5287).
Other Reward Checking Accounts
For other reward checking accounts in other parts of the country, please see my reward checking account page and my best checking account post.
07/01/10: 0.86% APY on all balances, 0.10% base
12/01/09: 3.01% APY up to $25K
08/01/09: 4.01% APY up to $25K; 1.00% for above
02/03/09: 5.01% APY up to $25K
07/26/07: 6.01% APY up to $25K, 0.50% for above, 0.10% if requirements not met