Heritage State Bank has a reward checking account called elite Checking which pays 2.79% APY on balances up to $25,000 (0.51% for over) and refunds ATM fees if the following monthly requirements are met: 1) 10 check card transactions, 2) one direct deposit or one ACH payment (i.e. utility payment), and 3) access statements online. If these requirements are not met the rate falls to 0.25%. There's a $25 minimum opening balance, but there are no minimum balances or monthly fees regardless of meeting the above requirements.
This appears to require a branch visit. Branches are located in Southwest Missouri in the cities of El Dorado Springs, Lamar, Nevada and Sheldon. The bank is FDIC insured (Certificate # 12617).
Thanks to the reader who mentioned this reward checking acocunt in the finding deals post.
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.
08/29/09: 2.79% APY (based on call to bank)
05/24/08: 4.51% APY
09/17/07: 6.01% APY
Edit 1/02/09: Corrected top APY from 4.41% to 4.51%