- 2.00% APY on balances up to $50,000
- 0.75% APY on portion of balance over $50,000
- 0.15% base rate if monthly requirements are not met
- Refunds ATM fees nationwide up to $25 per cycle
The monthly requirements include:
- 10 MasterCard debit card purchases
- One direct deposit or automatic payment (including direct debit or EagleNET bill payment)
- Enroll and receive e-statements
Additional features of the account regardless of the monthly requirements include:
- $25 minimum initial deposit
- No minimum balance requirement
- No monthly service charge
- Accounts with balances below $100 and no activity for 180 days will be closed
- Qualifications for the first monthly cycle are waived
There's an online application available at the bank's micro-website. According to the CSR, people from any state can apply online without visiting a branch. The only restriction stated in the application is that all applicants must be U.S. residents and at least 18 years of age. The application does require that you print and mail some documentation. Note, it's common for small banks to change their policy on nationwide availability, so please contact the bank for the latest rules.
Branches are located in northern New York State in the cities of Canton, Massena, Ogdensburg and Potsdam.
North Country Savings Bank has the highest ratings for safety and soundness: 5 stars (superior) at BauerFinancial (based on 6/30/09 data) and 5 stars (superior) at Bankrate.com (based on 3/31/09 data. The bank was established in 1909 and has been a FDIC member since 1943 (FDIC Certificate # 16030). It's a small bank with $248 million in assets and $188 million in deposits based on 6/30/09 FDIC data.
Other Reward Checking Accounts
Compared to other nationwide reward checking accounts the interest rate at North Country Savings Bank is a little low. On the plus side, the $50K cap is better than average. Hopefully, both the rate, the cap and the nationwide availability will hold. As we've seen throughout this year, all three are susceptible to change. The latest example of this is at West Bank which just announced that it'll be lowering its balance cap from $50K to $30K. Earlier this year, it had also lowered the top rate and restricted new accounts to only Iowa residents (see post).
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.
- 10/01/10: 2.00% APY up to $50K; 0.75% over; 0.15% base
- 07/02/10: 2.50% APY up to $50K
- 09/25/09: 3.00% APY up to $50K; 1.01% over; 0.15% base