- 5.01% up to $35K at Malvern Federal Savings Bank in PA
- 4.51% up to $25K at Focus Bank in MO & AR
- 4.33% up to $25K at Jeff Davis Bank in LA
It's starting to be common for banks to change their policy on availability of these accounts. This is the same thing that happened in January when another former nationwide rate leader, Bank of Blue Valley, ended the nationwide availability of its reward checking account.
It should be noted that many of the banks offering these reward checking accounts are small so they can quickly become overwhelmed with deposits. Also, as I described in my post on the math behind reward checking, I think these banks find out that they get a lot more rate chasers when they offer these accounts nationwide. Instead of reducing availability, banks have also cut the maximum balance that qualifies for the top rate. We just saw the popular Redneck Bank and its sister banks cut their balance cap from $25K to $10K (see post).
Just like the online savings accounts, reward checking rates are also being cut. Nevertheless, on average, reward checking account rates continue to be much higher than internet savings account rates. The average APY for the 355 reward checking accounts on my list is 4.20% (see stats).
A few banks have been offering rate guarantees on their reward checking accounts. Artisan's Bank in Delaware is guaranteeing 4.01% APY through this year (see post), and Bank2 in Oklahoma is guaranteeing 5.01% APY through the year (see post). Bank2 is also offering the account nationwide, but remember that it's a small bank, and as we've seen, small banks often change their policies. So even though the rate may remain at 5.01%, the maximum balance could be cut.
Reward Checking Account References: