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4.01% Reward Checking Account at Wisconsin Community Bank

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Update 3/29/09: The top yield has fallen to 4.01% APY. Refer to the bottom of the post for the rate history.

Wisconsin Community Bank is offering a reward checking account that pays 4.01% APY on balances up to $20,000 (1.01% for above) and refunds ATM fees (up to $20 per cycle) if the following three monthly requirements are met: 1) 15 or more debit card signature-based purchases, 2) one direct deposit, and 3) receive electronic statements. If these are not met, the rate falls to 0.25%. There's a $25 minimum opening balance, but there's no minimum balance thereafter.

I've noticed more reward checking accounts coming out with a $20K balance cap instead of $25K. Also, the number of required debit card purchases is a little higher than average (12 instead of 10). I hope the trend doesn't continue, but with the current interest rate environment it may become more common.

A branch visit appears to be required to open accounts. Branches are located in the Wisconsin cities of Cottage Grove, Fitchburg, Madison, Middleton and Monroe. The bank has been FDIC insured since 1934 (Certificate # 13023).

Thanks to the reader who mentioned this account in the finding-the-best-deals post.

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:
03/29/09: 4.01% APY up to $20K; 1.01% over
12/06/08: 5.01% APY, 15/mo debit card purchases required. Previously opened accounts still get 6.01% APY guaranteed through December 31, 2009.
03/30/08: 6.01% APY up to $20K; 1.51% over; 12/mo debit card purchases required

Edit 2/6/09: Automatic payment is no longer listed as a substitute for direct deposit
  Tags: Wisconsin, checking account, reward checking account

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Comments
8 comments.
Comment #1 by Frugal MoneyMan (anonymous) posted on
Frugal MoneyMan
I believe they lowered the cap from 25k to 20k last week.

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Comment #2 by Paulie (anonymous) posted on
Paulie
Which yet again proves the theory that these Reward Checking accounts are not proving as profitable as was first sold to them by that company in Texas which created Reward Checking in the first place.

These banks were sold a bill of goods, whereby they were told tons of people would sign up and then use their debit cards a huge amount.

So, no bank or credit union can offer a big balance cap and still make lots of money.

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Comment #3 by Tony Roberts (anonymous) posted on
Tony Roberts
Coulee Bank ( http://www.couleebank.net ) offers an incredible 6.01% APY with their Rewards Checking account. The rate is easy to earn. All you have to do is make 10 check card transactions a month, use e-statements, and do 1 automatic payment a month (they call it ACH). Coulee Bank pays 6.01% on the first $25,000 and 1.01% on anything above that. The best thing about this account besides the rate is it is FREE, you can apply online, and it is from a great bank with real people that answer the phone. And as they like to say, Banking Green has its Rewards. The Rewards Checking account saves paper and preserves our natural resources. No wonder I feel good about recommending this to everyone I know. Check it out. I guarantee you will love it.

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Comment #4 by Anonymous posted on
Anonymous
Received this today:
Earlier this year, Wisconsin Community Bank introduced Cash Rewards Checking. Thanks to you, the response has been great.



Recent decreases in interest rates, however, have made it necessary to reduce the rate on new Cash Rewards Checking accounts opened after January 1, 2009 to 5.01% APY.

Fortunately, this change won't affect you right away. Your current rate of 6.01% APY is guaranteed through January 1, 2010 with Wisconsin Community Bank.

A second change starts January 1, 2009 when the debit card requirement increases from 12 to 15 transactions per month. By now you have discovered the ease and convenience of using Wisconsin Community Bank's Debit Card for everyday purchases.

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Comment #5 by Anonymous posted on
Anonymous
For those with a WCB acct prior to 12/31/08 you will receive 6.01% rate and transactions will not increase to 15 but stay at 12 until the end of 2009!

"December 19, 2008
Dear Cash Rewards Checking Customer:In a recent message sent to you, we announced a change to the debit card usage requirement explaining that the number of signature-based debit card transactions would change from 12 to 15 beginning on January 1, 2009.


We have discovered that wording in various promotional materials might have led you to expect that 12 debit card uses would be guaranteed for the same duration as the special Annual Percentage Yield. So, we feel it's only fair that we keep the debit card transaction rule at 12 through January 31, 2010. At that time, both the APY and debit card transaction requirement will change."

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Comment #6 by Banking Guy (anonymous) posted on
Banking Guy
Thanks for the info. Glad to see it when banks are generous to their existing customers. Too many banks are focusing only on high rates to new customers.

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Comment #7 by Anonymous posted on
Anonymous
Correct me, but direct deposit is required, but NOT auto debit (payment)

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Comment #8 by Anonymous posted on
Anonymous
Rates as of today 3/29/09 have fallen from 5.01% to 4.01%

http://www.wisconsincommunitybank.com/products_checking.cfm

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