Update 12/02/10: The top rate is scheduled to fall to 3.03% APY for balances up to $25K effective 1/4/2011. See the bottom of the post for more information.
First Arkansas Bank & Trust (FABaT) has a reward checking account called Kasasa Cash that pays 3.50% APY on balances up to $50K and refunds ATM fees worldwide if the following monthly requirements are met: 1) 10 point of sale debit card transactions, 2) one monthly direct deposit or ACH auto debit or make one online bill payment, 3) receive e-statements, and 4) sign in to your online banking account. If these are not met, the rate falls to 0.05%. The minimum opening balance is $100. There are no minimum balance requirements or monthly fees.
The bank has set up a special website with more details on this account. Some noteworthy points from their FAQ include:
- No free checks
- All account holders receive the reward yield during the first statement cycle
- They will email you at the end of each statement cycle to notify you if you have qualified for the reward yield
- All ATM refunds will be automatically credited at the end of the statement cycle if all requirements have been met
- No limits on ATM refunds
- ATM fees assessed anywhere in the world are refunded
- DBAs (sole-proprietorship accounts), non-profit organizations, governmental units and funds held by a fiduciary may use this account
Update 8/11/09: Arkansas residents only Readers have reported being told by the bank's CSR that they are no longer accepting out-of-state applications effective 8/10/09. I've also confirmed this at CheckingFinder.com and Kasasa.com. Only Arkansas zip codes are accepted.
Update 7/04/09: I asked the bank CSR about being rejected for having too many ChexSystem inquiries. When you apply for a bank account, they typically make a ChexSystem inquiry. I was told that they reject new applicants who have more than 4 ChexSystem inquiries in the last 6 months.
FABaT is larger than many banks offering reward checking so this may help it keep the high rate longer. However, it's still not a large bank. It has 208 employees, $480 million in assets and $356 million in deposits based on 9/30/07 data. It has 25 branches in Arkansas.
The bank is FDIC insured (Certificate # 16849). It was established in 1949. The bank has a 4 out of 5 star rating (sound) at Bankrate and a 5 out of 5 star rating (superior) at BauerFinancial. Both are based on 9/30/07 data.
Other High Yield Reward Checking Accounts
To find reward checking accounts in other areas of the nation or to learn more about these accounts, please refer to my High Yield Checking website.
Edit 4/18/09: Added worldwide ATM fee refunds in description and fixed reward checking link.
- 01/04/11: 3.03% APY up to $25K; 0.50% over
- 12/02/09: 3.50% APY up to $35K; 0.50% over; only 1 account per customer allowed (see post for more info)
- 11/03/09: 3.50% APY up to $50K; 0.50% over
- 08/10/09: They stopped accepting applications outside of Arkansas.
- 07/01/09: 4.44% APY up to $50K; 1.01% over; 0.05% base rate
- 06/23/09: They stopped accepting applications from California.
- 05/01/09: Changed name from FirstNet Checking to Kasasa Cash
- 02/07/08: 4.44% APY up to $50K; 1.76% APY over; 0.05% base rate (review of change)
- 12/31/07: 6.06% APY on all balances; 0.05% base rate