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More Reward Checking Account Reviews and Opinions

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There's a good review of reward checking accounts at My Money Blog. Plus, there are some good tips at ensuring you meet the monthly requirements. As mentioned in the post, if you have low balances or tend to get busy and forgetful, you may be better off with a high yield online savings account where you can just deposit the money and forget about it.

The post also pointed out that local banks and credit unions that restrict the reward checking to their local areas are probably more likely to be able to maintain the high rates than those that offer them nationwide. I share this opinion. The success of these accounts depend on a high percentage of lazy and apathetic customers with low balances and a low percentage of hardcore rate chasers with large balances. The lower this lazy-to-ratechaser ratio, the harder it'll be for the bank to maintain the high yield. My guess is that banks and credit unions with accounts available nationwide will see a lower lazy-to-ratechaser ratio.

There is still a question about if the high yields offered by these reward checking accounts can last. The rates have fallen on average over the last several months as the Fed has slashed rates. However, there continues to be many reward checking accounts that pay over 5% which is a lot better than the online savings accounts.

I thought I would give a summary of the reward checking accounts that have maintained 6%+ for over a year. But as I reviewed my reward checking list with over 200 banks and credit unions, I found there are not too many left paying 6%+ AND that have been around for over a year (or a year since my first report). I've only found two: United Heritage Credit Union in Texas (see post) and West Bend Savings Bank in Wisconsin (see post). However, there are many more that are still at 5%+ and have been around for at least a year. I'll see if I can get these numbers for a future post.

Find a Reward Checking Account

To find reward checking accounts near where you live, please refer to my High Yield Checking website. I now have a total of 207 banks and credit unions listed (and more will be added soon). You can keep track of the average yield and other statistics on these at the bottom of that page.
  Tags: checking account

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Comments
2 comments.
Comment #1 by Anonymous posted on
Anonymous
I'm not sure about local banks being able to maintain the high rate. Verity Credit Union, which is restricted to Washington state (and federal employees) will drop its rate to 5.05 effective July 1.

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Comment #2 by Anonymous posted on
Anonymous
I have had a reward checking account with Heartland Community Bank for 3 months now and it is a great account. They have a great Cust Serv Dept. I have only called there twice and both times I talked to a real live CSR who was friendly and helpful and answered my questions in a way you could tell she knew what she was doing. They answer e-mails usually the same day. Could they teach WAMU and IndyMac a thing or two or what. When you pull up your account it is plain and easy to read with the point of sale transactions in red so they are easy to see. My billing cycle ends at the end of business on the 2nd tues of every month. The 10 debit card uses are no problem as I use 12 to 15 of them in everday living. Interest rate is 5.06 now and I will stick with them down to 4.50. If they go below that I will be looking for greener pastures. Forgot to mention that when I called them a live person answered the phone so I didn't have to go thru 5 different menu's . Great account.

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