Update 12/07/10: The top yield has fallen to 2.25% APY. See bottom of the post for the rate history.
The Bank of Fayetteville is offering a reward checking account called Smart Checking. It pays 2.25% APY on balances up to $25,000 (0.15% for above) and refunds ATM fees nationwide (up to $25 per month) if the following monthly requirements are met: 1) 10 check card transactions, 2) one direct deposit or ACH electronic payment, 3) receive an E-statement, and 4) sign on to online banking. If these are not met, the rate falls to 0.05%. The minimum opening deposit is $100.
Update 1/6/11: The online application at CheckingFinder.com now states that you must reside in Arkansas to apply for the account.
There's an "Apply Now" button at the Smart Checking page which allows you to apply online. I've confirmed with the bank in February 2008 that the account is available nationwide. Also, the account is listed at CheckingFinder for any US zip codes. You can also apply at this CheckingFinder page.
Update 10/24/09: The bank now offers the Smart Savings Account that's linked to the Smart Checking Account. If you meet the Smart Checking requirements, the Smart Savings pays 0.75% APY on balances up to $50,000 (0.40% over) as of 12/7/2010.
In February 2008 this bank was mentioned in this Wall Street Journal article that discussed high yield reward checking accounts.
The bank has 8 offices in Fayetteville and West Fork, Arkansas. It has been FDIC insured since (Certificate # 26975).
- 02/09/11: 2.25% APY up to $25K
- 12/06/10: 2.25% APY up to $50K; 0.15% over; 0.05% base | Savings: 0.75% APY up to $50K; 0.40% over; 0.15% base
- 05/12/10: 2.75% APY up to $50K
- 12/10/09: 3.20% APY up to $50K; 0.30% over $50K; 0.10% base
- 10/24/09: Savings Account: 1.31% APY up to $50K; 0.40% over
- 03/17/09: 3.50% APY up to $50K; 0.40% over $50K
- 02/10/09: 4.00% APY up to $50K; 0.50% over $50K; 0.15% if requirements not met
- 11/02/08: 4.00% APY (1/13/09: had been listed as 4.01%)
- 05/15/08: 4.51% APY
- 02/10/08: 5.01% APY up to $50K; 1.01% over $50K; 0.20% if requirements not met