Update 9/20/10: The rate has fallen to 0.90% APY
Update 1/20/10: The rate has fallen to 1.25% APY
Update 6/25/09: The rate has fallen to 1.75% APY
Update 4/07/09: The rate has fallen to 2.25% APY.
First National Community Bank is offering an online savings account called Maximum Earnings Online Savings Account. As of 3/05/09, its rate is 2.75% APY on all balances. Minimum initial deposit is $100. There are no monthly service fees and no minimum balance requirements.
There's an online application that's provided by Andera which allows electronic funding. The application makes it appear that people from any state can apply (see update 4/13/09 below). I called the bank, but I did not receive a definite answer. The CSR said that anyone could apply, but it may or may not be approved. She didn't know if the application process performed a hard credit inquiry.
Update: I just received a reply by email from the bank that states that accounts can be opened by anyone:
Anyone is welcome to use our online account opening process to apply for an account with FNCB.
In order to obtain the 3.00% Annual Percentage Yield with the Maximum Earnings CD, customers must have a Maximum Earnings Checking account in the same title. The ME savings account can be opened as a stand alone account.
Update 4/13/09: This account now appears to be restricted to residents of Pennsylvania. A reader reported being rejected in the application due to residing outside of Pennsylvania. The bank remains vague on why they say anyone can apply if they don't intend to accept out-of-state applications.
The bank offers an ACH transfer service which they call external funds transfers. All standard service (3 day) inbound transfers are free. The first 3 per month of standard service outbound transfers are free. I wasn't able to get additional details about this service from the CSR.
There's also a reward checking account called the Maximum Earnings Checking that pays 4.51% APY on balances up to $25K as of 3/05/09. This uses the same online application as the savings account.
Competitive Certificate of Deposit Rates
The bank also has some very competitive CD rates. These are called Maximum Earning CDs. The current Bonus APY is 3.00% for terms of 11, 15 and 18 months. The Bonus APY requires a Maximum Earnings Checking Account. These rates are listed at the top of the bank's rate table as of 3/05/09. There's an online application, but it's different than the one for the savings and checking accounts.
The bank is based in Dunmore, Pennsylvania with several branches in the northeast part of the state.
The bank has some strong ratings for safety and soundness: 4 stars (sound) at Bankrate.com and 3.5 stars (good) at BauerFinancial. Both ratings are based on 9/30/08 financial data. The bank has been FDIC insured since 1934 (FDIC Certificate # 7472).
Thanks to the reader who emailed me news of this bank