Institution for Savings has started a reward checking account called Bonus Checking. It pays 1.01% APY on balances up to $50,000 (0.25% for above) and refunds ATM fees (up to $20 per cycle) if the following monthly requirements are met: 1) 10 Visa Debit Card purchases, 2) one direct deposit, 3) pay 3 bills using the bank's Internet Bill Pay, 4) receive electronic statements, and 5) maintain a $500 minimum daily balance. If these are not met, the rate falls to 0.25%.
This is the first reward checking account that I've seen that has a potential monthly fee. If you don't maintain a $500 daily balance, there's a $10 monthly service charge. Also, most reward checking accounts don't require 3 bill pays in addition to direct deposit. On the plus side, there's no charge for basic checks.
It appears that a branch visit is required to open this account. Branches are located in the Massachusetts cities of Newburyport, Salisbury, Ipswich and Rowley. The bank is FDIC insured (FDIC Certificate # 90250). Funds over the FDIC limit are also insured by the Deposit Insurance Fund (DIF).
Thanks to the reader who mentioned this bank in the Finding-the-best-rates post.
Other High Yield Reward Checking Accounts
Please see my reward checking overview for general information and a history of these reward checking accounts. For other reward checking accounts please see my list of reward checking accounts around the nation and the best checking account post.
Rate History: latest rates at bank's rate table:
08/05/11: 1.01% APY
06/25/09: 1.50% APY
12/26/08: 2.00% APY
10/31/08: 3.50% APY
06/23/08: 4.00% APY
02/08/08: 6.00% APY (initial post)
The top yield was 6.00% APY at time of initial post (2/8/08).