Liberty Bank has a reward checking account called High-Interest Free Checking. It pays 2.50% APY on balances up to $30,000 (0.15% for above) if the following monthly requirements are met:
- 10 debit card transactions
- one or more direct deposits totaling at least $500
- online banking with e-statements
One unique thing I noticed on the front page is that the bank states "Free checking with no ChexSystems and no credit bureaus." I don't see many banks that avoid ChexSystem verification these days.
Bonuses as of 7/16/08
It appears you can choose one of two account bonuses. Both are listed at the front page as of 7/16/08. I'm not sure if you can stack them. One is a 10% APY 12-month CD with a minimum and maximum deposit of $1,000. This requires a Liberty Bank checking account so it's like a $60 new-account bonus ($60 over what you would get in a 4% 12-month CD). The other bonus is a $50 bonus when you mention the ad that's listed on the front page (rotating ad). This requires an initial opening deposit of $50. It's limited to one $50 bonus per household. Existing Liberty Bank checking account customers are not eligible.
They have an online application. However, the form limits the states that you can select to Missouri, Arkansas, Oklahoma and Kansas. So it appears to be available to anyone in those four states. The application does allow you to choose both the High-Interest Free Checking and the 10% CD special. It doesn't appear you can do the $50 new-account bonus online.
Update 7/18/08: A reader has reported being told that they require new customers to come into a branch to sign the signature card after submitting the application online.
Branches are located in the Missouri cities of Springfield, Branson, El Dorado Springs, Greenfield, Joplin, Lockwood, Marshfield, Mt Vernon, Nixa, Ozark and Stockton. The bank has been FDIC insured since 1995 (FDIC Certificate # 34087).
Thanks to the reader who emailed me about this 10% CD special.
Other Reward Checking Accounts
This $10K cap is a low for a reward checking account. Most have a balance cap of $25K. On the plus side, it only requires 8 debit card purchases a month rather than 10 which is the average number.
To find reward checking accounts in other areas of the nation or to learn more about these accounts, please refer to my High Yield Checking website.
08/22/11: 2.50% APY up to $30K, 0.15% for above
01/02/09: APY if requirements are not met has fallen from 0.50% to 0.15%.
11/23/08: 5.00% APY for up to $30K, 1.25% for above. 10 debit card purchases/cycle
07/16/08: 5.00% APY for up to $10K, 0.50% for above. 8 debit card purchases/cycle
Edit 7/18/09: Updated URLs