Update 10/08/10: The top yield has fallen to 3.01% APY. Please see bottom of the post for the rate history.
Liberty Bank is offering a reward checking called eSmart Checking that pays 3.01% APY on balances up to $25,000 (1.01% for over) and refunds ATM fees (up to $20/month) if the following requirements are met: 1) 15 debit card purchases, 2) one direct deposit or automatic withdrawal, 3) one bill pay, and 4) receive electronic statements. If these are not met, the rate falls to 0.15%. Only $1 is required to open the account, and they offer the first 50 checks free. There are no monthly service charges, and bill pay is free.
Update 1/6/11: The online application at CheckingFinder.com now states that you must reside in either Illinois or Missouri to apply.
Update 6/16/08: I was informed by the bank that they now accept out-of-state applications. The "Apply Now" button on their eSmart Checking overview page links to the online application at CheckingFinder.com.
Branches are located in the Illinois cities of Alton, Godfrey and Bethalto. The bank is FDIC insured (Certificate # 33873).
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. For a discussion of reward checking accounts and if the high yields can last, please refer to High Yield Reward Checking News and Reviews post.
- 04/26/10: 3.01% APY for under $25K; 1.01% APY for over $25K; 0.15% base rate
- 11/04/09: 3.51% APY for under $25K
- 08/19/09: 4.01% APY for under $25K, 1.25% APY for over $25K, 0.25% base rate
- 04/16/09: 4.25% APY for under $25K, 1.25% APY for over $25K
- 11/02/08: 4.50% APY for under $25K, 1.50% APY for over $25K
- 06/10/08: 5.01% APY for under $25K
- 03/21/08: 5.51% APY for under $25K
- 12/19/07: 6.01% APY for under $25K, 2.01% APY for over $25K, 0.50% base rate