Update 9/20/10: The top rate has fallen to 0.75% APY. Refer to the bottom of the post for the rate history.
First National Community Bank is offering a reward checking account called Maximum Earnings (ME) Account. It pays 0.75% APY on balances up to $25,000 (0.20% for above) and refunds ATM fees if the following monthly requirements are met:
- 10 debit card purchases
- one direct deposit or automatic payment
- receive electronic statements
If these are not met, the rate falls to 0.05%. Minimum initial deposit is $100. There are no monthly service fees and no minimum balance requirements. One nice perk is free checks
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. 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.
The bank also offers an internet savings account called Maximum Earnings Savings Account. It uses the same online application. As of 9/20/10, the online savings account rate is 0.90% APY on all balances. Refer to this post for more details.
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
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.
09/20/10: 0.75% APY up to $25K; 0.20% over; 0.05% base rate / ME Savings: 0.90%
01/20/10: 3.04% APY up to $25K; 0.75% over
07/22/09: 4.01% APY up to $25K
03/05/09: 4.51% APY up to $25K, 1.01% over, 0.05% base / ME Savings: 2.75%