Update 01/11/2011: The top rate has fallen to 3.01% APY.
Focus Bank is offering a reward checking account called Maximum Free Checking. It pays 3.01% APY for balances up to $25,000 (0.51% over) and automatically refunds ATM fees (up to $25 per cycle) if the following monthly requirements are met: 1) 10 debit card transactions, 2) access online banking, and 3) receive electronic statements. If these requirements are not met, the rate falls to 0.10%. The minimum opening deposit is $100. There are no minimum balance requirements or monthly service charges regardless of meeting the above conditions.
One thing a little different with this reward checking is that it does not require direct deposit or ACH debits. Instead, it just requires "access online banking". This seems redundant to the third requirement "receive electronic statements" since e-statements usually require that you log into online banking.
Update: The bank's MAXimum Free Checking page on the "more information" tab states the following "ONLINE ACCOUNTS AVAILABLE TO MISSOURI, ARKANSAS, KENTUCKY, TENNESSEE, AND SOME ILLINOIS RESIDENTS ONLY." The bank had been offering this account nationwide.
Branches are located in Missouri and Arkansas. The bank is FDIC insured (Certificate # 1426).
Thanks to the reader who emailed me info on this bank and reward checking account.
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 the High Yield Reward Checking News and Reviews post.
- 01/11/11: 3.01% APY up to $25K; Account is available for AR, MO, KY, TN & some IL residents
- 07/15/10: 3.51% APY up to $25K; 0.51% over;
- 06/13/09: Account is now ONLY available for Arkansas and Missouri residents
- 03/17/09: Account is now available nationwide.
- 01/08/09: 4.51% APY for up to $25K; 1.01% APY for above; 0.10% if req's are not met
- 12/10/07: 6.01% APY for up to $25K; 0.25% if req's are not met