Dedicated to Deposits: Deals, Data, and Discussion

2.51% Reward Checking Account Available Online for SC, GA and FL Residents (First Federal)

POSTED ON BY

Update 5/17/09: The top yield has fallen to 2.51% APY. Please see bottom of the post for the rate history.

First Federal has started a reward checking account called Moolah Checking. It pays 2.51% APY on balances up to $25k (0.50% over) if the following monthly requirements are met: 1) 12 debit card transactions, 2) 2 online bill payments, and 3) receive e-statements. If these requirements are not met, the rate falls to 0.05%. The minimum opening deposit is $50. There are no monthly fees regardless of meeting the above requirements. The first order of checks is provided at no charge.

One thing different about this reward checking account is that there is no free use of other banks' ATMs (see FAQ #9). For those who just care about this account for its high yield, this may be better since more money could go into maintaining the higher interest rate rather than refunding ATM fees.

The Moolah Checking webpage states that you can open the account online or at a local branch. The first page of the online account application states that the bank is currently servicing South Carolina, Georgia, and Florida for all products. The application also states that you can fund the new account with a credit card, debit card or a US checking account.

I last reported on this bank in April when they were offering a 5.55% online CD special. They don't seem to be offering any good CD special now, but they still have a Health Savings Account with a yield up to 4.55% APY. The HSA is available to residents of any state.

The bank has branches in several cities of South Carolina including the cities of Charleston, Hilton Head, Florence, and Myrtle Beach. The bank has been FDIC insured since 1934 (Certificate # 28994).

Thanks to the readers who mentioned this new checking account 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.

Rate History:
07/16/09: Online application no longer accepts NC applicants
05/07/09: 2.51% APY
01/08/09: 3.01% APY; 0.05% if req's are not met.
11/07/08: 3.51% APY
9/08/08: 4.01% APY
4/02/08: 4.26% APY
1/17/08: 5.51% APY
10/18/07: 6.01% APY; 0.10% if req's are not met (initial post)

Edit 12/30/08: APY for above $25K is now 0.50% (down from 1.00%)

Related Pages: South Carolina, Georgia, checking account, reward checking account, Florida

Related Posts

Comments
12 Comments.
Comment #1 by Anonymous posted on
Anonymous
They do heavy duty hard pulls.
If any info does not match with your application they will pull HARD reports from all three credit bureaus

Not worth it.

1
Comment #2 by Anonymous posted on
Anonymous
we'll see. Claimed it was an equifax
soft pull. claim interest starts day of deposit without debits and bill pay activity. They have to email back acceptance of on line sign up.
Several days on debit card and week on checks. Will report back

1
Comment #3 by Anonymous posted on
Anonymous
statement period runs from the first of the month. If you meet all requirements in the first full month after opening the account in a partial month they'll automatically give you the 6.01%APY rate. Checks slow coming. Website not great. Have to talk to alot of people to get straight answers. Was able to transfer from ING direct.

1
Comment #4 by Anonymous posted on
Anonymous
Just dropped from 6.01% to 5.51% on their website.

1
Comment #5 by Banking Guy (anonymous) posted on
Banking Guy
Thanks for the comment. Sorry to see it drop, but I guess it's to be expected. I added this update to the post.

1
Comment #6 by Anonymous posted on
Anonymous
Update...Went into the branch bank and was assured only a "soft" pull would be performed. Did not seek any credit..just rewards checking and debit card.

On my Equifax and Transunion as a "Hard pull". Talked again with bank rep and she says she's always been told the inquiry would show up but wouldn't affect your "Beacon Score". I assured her that it is a "hard" pull on both credit bureau reports and listed as "seeking new credit recently". Told them I'm sending a letter to the bureaus and asking if that inquiry does or does not affect my score and will send it to them. In the meantime, I suggested they talk this policy over. They must know what they're doing.

1
Comment #7 by Anonymous posted on
Anonymous
First Federal just recently joined MoneyPass network, which is a nationwide ATM network. Their website provides a search to find MoneyPass ATMs in your area. I was surprised at how many free ATMs there are. Link - http://www.firstfederal.com/webff/contactus/locations.asp

1
Comment #8 by Anonymous posted on
Anonymous
Bank officials still insist they do a credit check through Equifax but it only is a slight "ding" not like a credit on a loan request at the bank.
I have written equifax and transunion and stated hard inquiry is an error.
I suspect they won't do anything but certainly is a mess if you don't want "sought recent credit" blasted all over your reports. Still paying 5.15%

1
Comment #9 by Anonymous posted on
Anonymous
notified Moohlah statement for November 2nd available on line today. low interest rate despite many debits, bill pays for October. Customer service rep says 4 cents interest due to September transactions which we both looked at on the history section. Memos for Nov. transactions are posted at the top of September account history so I probably memos in my debit count that would be posted. My bad.

Also, she stated you must cut off 5 days before the end of the qualifying month in order for debits to clear for credit. Signature debit transactions show up as memos and sit for days before posting. PIN number debits are faster and posted quicker.

She said November 2nd statement activity (October debits etc.) and interest earned would not post until the December 2nd statement.

Does anyone understand this process? I certainly thought the bank posted the interest on that month's statement. Help

1
Comment #10 by Anonymous posted on
Anonymous
rate is now 3.51%

1
Comment #11 by Anonymous posted on
Anonymous
Along with the rate cut to 3.51% up to $25K goes 0.50% APY for amounts over $25K.

1
Comment #12 by Anonymous posted on
Anonymous
Top and bottom tiers have gone down: 3.01% APY up to $25K, and 0.05% if requirements not met.

1