Update 4/04/09: The yield has fallen to 4.01% APY. Refer to the bottom of the post for the rate history.
Riverside Community Bank has 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 monthly requirements are met: 1) 15 signature-based debit card purchases, 2) one direct deposit and 3) electronic statements. If these are not met, the rate falls to 0.25%. The minimum opening deposit is $25. There are no monthly service charges or minimum balance requirements.
This is one more bank with a $20K balance cap instead of $25K. This is becoming more common, and is probably a result of the current rate environment. Banks can reduce the interest they pay on these reward checking accounts by either lowering the rate or lowering the balance cap.
The bank does provide an online application, however, I was told by their banking rep that you are required to open a new checking account in person at one of their branches. Branches are located in the Illinois cities of Rockford and Machesney Park. The bank has been FDIC insured since 1995 (FDIC Certificate # 34076).
For other high yield reward checking accounts and to learn more about these accounts, please refer to my High Yield Checking website.
04/01/09: 4.01% APY up to $20K; 1.01% over
12/21/08: 5.01% APY, rate guarantee to July 2009 is no longer listed, debit card usage requirement increased from 12 to 15
10/25/08: 6.01% yield is guaranteed to July 1, 2009
04/11/08: 6.01% APY up to $20K; 1.51% over