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4.25% Reward Checking Account at a North Carolina Bank (First Community)

POSTED ON BY

First Community Bank
Update 9/19/09: The top yield has increased to 4.25% APY. See bottom of post for the account history.

First Community Bank is offering a reward checking account called the Backbone High Yield Checking that pays 4.25% APY for balances up to $25,000 (0.25% for above) if the following monthly requirements are met: 1) 12 Visa debit card transactions, 2) one direct deposit, and 3) receive statements online. If these are not met, the rate falls to 0.10%. The minimum opening deposit is $100. Minimum balance of $1,000 is required each cycle to avoid the $7 per-cycle service charge

Update 11/08/09: The bank also offers an online savings account with a 1.50% APY as of 11/08/09. The yield applies to all balances without limit, and there are no monthly service fees.

Update 9/19/09: I don't see any more mention of refunds of ATM fees.

Update 9/19/09: The online application now accepts residents of the following states:
Florida, Tennessee, Virginia, West Virginia, North Carolina and South Carolina

The bank is headquartered in Bluefield, Virginia. It was established in 1934 and is FDIC insured (Certificate # 13012).

Other High Yield Reward Checking Accounts

For other reward checking accounts and for more information on these accounts, please refer to the following posts:


Rate History:
09/19/09: Tristone merged into First Community Bank. Reward account renamed to Backbone High Yield Checking. New rate: 4.25% APY up to $25K, 0.25% over, 0.10% base
09/12/09: Features and rates located at bottom right of front page (click here for details)
11/14/08: 4.05% APY for up to $25K, 0.51% APY for above $25K.
09/16/08: 5.01% APY
02/24/08: 6.05% APY for up to $25K, 1.01% APY for above $25K (initial post)

Edit 11/08/09: ACH auto debit no longer an alternative for direct deposit.
  Tags: First Community Bank, South Carolina, Virginia, Tennessee, North Carolina, West Virginia, reward checking account, Florida

Related Posts

Comments
17 comments.
Comment #1 by Anonymous posted on
Anonymous
Did you get back a response to your question whether this was available nationally?

1
Comment #2 by Banking Guy (anonymous) posted on
Banking Guy
Still no reply. I'll try again today.

1
Comment #3 by Anonymous posted on
Anonymous
This is an old post, but still vaild. I went down there on 4/21/2008 and opened the account with no trouble, Checksystem credit pull. You must visit the bank to open the account and it is not available nationwide! The bank has 2 branchs and growing. They are also working on thier website. The branch I went to had a VERY NICE stone / log cabin style look. I was offered a Coke to drink while I waited. They apperantely were in a big loan deal. I also noticed a hidden camera inside the FDIC sign in the account office, sneaky, and I waved at it.

They feel confident the rate should stay high; I just wished I went with this account earlier when it first opened. There are a lot of banks on this street in this area, one of which is also offering a very high savings account the is just slightly lower than this one but requires only 10 transactions. So has long as the competition holds to their rates, this rate should last too.

1
Comment #4 by Banking Guy (anonymous) posted on
Banking Guy
Thanks for the info. Glad they're still offering the 6.05% APY. What was the other bank that was offering the high yield savings?

1
Comment #5 by Anonymous posted on
Anonymous
The other bank was Southern Community Bank which is just a block away. (That bank is older has many local branches and seems centered on retireees.) It was difficult to decide which bank to go with, but I chose this bank (TriStone) since it only accepts local/walk-in applications. Plus, all of the people that I spoke with at the bank seemed confident that the rate will not change for awhile.

I am thinking that the bank is trying the account to attract new customers for funding of loans and other services. So if the bank has many loans but only a few people with this savings account, they should be able to keep the rates high to keep the savings account customers. A positive and a negative here is that the bank is around 4 years old. They less debt than many of those bigger banks and have a chance to set a great name for themselves in the community!

The staff was very friendly, but the person I opened the account with did not explained any of the details since I alreadly knew about the account. She did asked if I had any questions and I asked her a few basics.

More account details.
The bank accepts mail-in deposits. The account comes with temporary check for free, but regular checks are extra. It also comes with a Visa check card and you are allowed to make credit purcases to get the 12 transactions. The first month is usually "exempt" from these qualifications since the account holder will not get the card until 10 days after the account is opened. They put a hold on my opening deposit since it was so large, but it will still earn interest. Your account login and password are mailed to you.

They should have pictures of the bank branches on the site too. This bank really looks nice and is made of "stone"s. It is also near an area that has many retirees and people with nice homes and in an area with common shops/retail. Overall I am quite impressed, but I am still crossing my fingers on this account.

Thanks banking guy for the post.

1
Comment #6 by Banking Guy (anonymous) posted on
Banking Guy
Thanks for the info. I do think banks which only offer these reward checking accounts to locals will be able to keep the rates higher.

1
Comment #7 by Anonymous posted on
Anonymous
Is there a HarD PULL???

1
Comment #8 by Anonymous posted on
Anonymous
Yes there is a hard pull according to CSR.

1
Comment #9 by Anonymous posted on
Anonymous
An additional note: their website currently does not allow external ACH transfers, so you will have to use another account to push/pull.

1
Comment #10 by Anonymous posted on
Anonymous
Does that mean that I can use the web site of say, my Chase credit cards and have them paid from this checking account each month automatically (pull?), rather than use the bank's online bill paying to pay Chase (push?). I usually pay about 8 accounts that way each month, but since they are ACH, they do not count towards the 12 debit card purchases, correct?

1
Comment #11 by Anonymous posted on
Anonymous
The customer service I've received through them has been shoddy at best. Lost forms, waiting to get the debit card, etc. Not worth it unless you're local.

1
Comment #12 by Anonymous posted on
Anonymous
Rate dropped to %4.05 The new rate takes affect November 16th. I really thought local banks would have the upper hand :-(

1
Comment #13 by Anonymous posted on
Anonymous
Per their website on 1/27/09, their 4.18% is good for up to $50,000 ($25K previously, I think)

1
Comment #14 by Banking Guy (anonymous) posted on
Banking Guy
Where on their website? I'm still seeing 4.05% up to $25K.

1
Comment #15 by Anonymous posted on
Anonymous
The online application has now added 5 additional states: West Virginia, Kentucky, Alabama, Mississippi, Maryland.

1
Comment #16 by Anonymous posted on
Anonymous
TriStone Community Bank is being merged into First Community Bank (W
inston-Salem) about mid-September.
A similar rewards program should be offered at that time.
http://www.fcbresource.com/

1
Comment #17 by Anonymous posted on
Anonymous
First Community Bank is offering Backbone High Yield Checking at 4.25% up to $25K. Need to revise the RC account description.

1