Update 5/31/09: A reader has reported that the top rate is scheduled to fall to 4.01% APY starting on 6/02/09.
First Bank is offering a reward checking account called First Bonus Checking. It pays 4.01% APY on balances up to $25,000 (1.01% for above) and refunds ATM fees nationwide if the following monthly requirements are met:
- 10 check card purchases
- one direct deposit or ACH auto debit
- receive electronic statements
If these are not met, the rate falls to 0.20%. Minimum initial deposit is $100. There is no monthly service charge. A customer is allowed to open multiple checking accounts, but requirements must be met for each account to receive the top rate.
According to the bank's account disclosure, this 6% APY has been effective since 11/01/2008. This is one of the few 6% reward checking accounts remaining in the nation.
This account is offered to anyone in the state of Iowa, but new customers are required to visit one of the branches to open the account. I was told they'll be offering a new online application in mid March that will require no branch visit. However, customers will still need to be Iowa residents.
Branches are located in the Iowa cities of Des Moines, Johnston and West Des Moines. The bank has been FDIC insured since 1934 (FDIC Certificate # 4516).
Thanks to the reader who emailed me news of this reward checking account.
Other Reward Checking Accounts
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.
06/02/09: 4.01% APY up to $25K
02/24/09: 6.00% APY up to $25K