Heritage Bank is offering a reward checking account with a rate that's low for reward checking, but it has the advantage that all balances can qualify for the top rate. If certain monthly requirements are met, the following rate and features apply:
- 2.14% APY on all balances
- 0.10% base rate if monthly requirements are not met
- Refunds of ATM fees nationwide up to $25 per month
- 10 check card purchases
- one direct deposit or automatic payment (ACH)
- Receive e-statements
- $50 minimum opening balance
- No minimum balance requirement
- No monthly service charge
The bank also offers an online savings account called Heritage Direct Savings, which has a rate of 1.50% APY as of 5/22/09. I first posted on this savings account in April 2006 when the rate was 4.60% APY. I stopped reporting on it over the last year since the rate dropped quicker than most of its competitors.
I had noticed Heritage Bank was offering this reward checking account last year, but I didn't pay much attention since the rate was 2.55% which was low at that time. In today's environment, 2.55% APY is higher than what you can get at most internet savings accounts. Since the rate applies to all balances, it may be a reasonable alternative to online savings accounts for those with large balances.
Heritage Bank is based in Minnesota. It's a small bank with $179 million in assets and $143 million in deposits. It has been FDIC insured since 1964 (FDIC Certificate # 19254). The bank's ratings for safety and soundness are fair: 3 stars (adequate) at BauerFinancial and 3 stars (performing) at Bankrate.com. The ratings are based on 12/31/08 financial data.
Other Reward Checking Accounts
Refer to my nationwide list for reward checking accounts available nationwide. One thing to note is that only CBDirect has a nationwide reward checking account without a balance cap ($250K mentioned in the table is a default value for all balances). It has a rate of 3.00% APY as of 5/22/09.
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.
07/10/09: 2.14% APY all balances
06/12/09: 2.24% APY all balances
05/22/09: 2.55% APY all balances; 0.10% base rate