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2.51% Reward Checking at a Rhode Island Bank (BankNewport)

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BankNewport
Update 11/09/09: The top yield has fallen to 2.51% APY. See bottom of post for the rate and cap history.

BankNewport has started a reward checking account it calls Go Checking which pays 2.51% APY for balances up to $50,000 (0.40% over) and refunds ATM fees if the following monthly requirements are met: 1) 12 debit card transactions, 2) one direct deposit or ACH debit, and 3) receive electronic statements. If these requirements are not met, the rate falls to 0.10%. The minimum initial deposit is $25. There are no minimum balance requirements or monthly fees regardless of meeting the above requirements.

Update 4/03/08: The website now states "Available to residents living in Rhode Island and Southeastern Massachusetts."

Branches are located in the Rhode Island cities of Newport, Jamestown, Middletown, Portsmouth, Tiverton, Barrington, Bristol and Warren. The bank is FDIC insured (Certificate # 18129).

Other Reward Checking Accounts

The best reward checking account deals with the highest yield and the highest qualifying deposit seem to be in the Northeast. In most other areas of the country, the top yield often only applies to the first $25K. I just reported yesterday on a Rhode Island credit union with a reward checking account which also has a $100K deposit cap. I've reported on several Massachusetts banks offering these reward checking accounts including Middlesex Savings which is still offering 6.25% APY on balances up to $100K.

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:
11/04/09: 2.51% up to $50K
8/07/09: 2.76% up to $50K; 0.40% over; 0.10% base
6/03/09: Top yield now 3.55% APY.
3/03/09: Top yield now 4.14% APY.
1/05/09: Top yield now 4.65% APY.
7/04/08: The balance cap fell to $50,000.
4/03/08: The top yield fell to 5.05% APY.
10/12/07: The initial yield was 6.06% APY for balances up to $100,000.

  Tags: Massachusetts, BankNewport, Rhode Island, checking account, reward checking account

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Comments
9 Comments.
Comment #1 by Anonymous posted on
Anonymous
I opened an account with BankNewport in January when I moved my money away from Everbank. I am currently enjoying the high yield and high balance cap of this account. Thank you, BankingGuy!

1
Comment #2 by Stuart (anonymous) posted on
Stuart
Dear Anonymous,

Enjoy the high yield and high balance cap while it lasts. (Seriously, I hope it lasts for you.)

No way any bank can afford to pay 6% with such a high balance cap in today's financial environment. (Either they will eventually lower the rate or the balance cap.)

Hey...did you ever ask BankNewport if they would let one open up two separate Rewards accounts? (They probably wouldn't.)

1
Comment #3 by Anonymous posted on
Anonymous
Does anyone know if Bank Newport restricts membership to just residents of Rhode Island, or can anyone from any state get this 6% reward account?

1
Comment #4 by Anonymous posted on
Anonymous
BankNewport dropped the interest rate today from 6.06% to 5.05%, while the cap is kept at $100,000. Not terrific, but still a good deal (You are certainly correct, Stuart). Newport Federal still has 6.01% up to $50,000. Let's see how long they can keep this...

From their website, this account is available to residents of Rhode Island and southern Mass. About opening multiple Rewards accounts, yes, it's allowed. Each account will be given a different debit card and you need 12 transactions for each card to get the high yield. The banker suggested that I open a POD or joint account if I intend to do so to get extended FDIC coverage.

1
Comment #5 by Stuart (anonymous) posted on
Stuart
Thank you for the info.

Interesting how some banks will let you open up multiple rewards accounts and some will not.

Yes, adding qualifying beneficiaries is always smart. For example, if you put down POD to your mom and sibling, your insurance doubles to $200,000. Put down POD to 3 qualifying relatives and you'd have $300,000 insurance.

Sorry to hear the rate dropped so much so soon. Hope they don't drop it more.

1
Comment #6 by Anonymous posted on
Anonymous
The website lists the cap as $50K currently, not $100K.

1
Comment #7 by Banking Guy (anonymous) posted on
Banking Guy
Thanks for the info. They must have recently lowered the cap. I've updated the post.

1
Comment #8 by Anonymous posted on
Anonymous
APY dropped to 3.55% probably on 6/3.

1
Comment #9 by Anonymous posted on
Anonymous
APY drops again to 2.76% this month. How disappointing!

1